I recently reconnected with an old friend, Matilda Wormwood.
She brought with her the dear Miss Honey and the creative Roald Dahl.
Roald Dahl’s much loved Matilda was published when I was a child. I must have read it for the first time shortly after it came out.
I read it many times after that, relishing in the story of a misunderstood–and gifted–little girl and the hard-done-by caring teacher and how they faced down their adversaries.
As a child, I loved the good triumphs over evil story line. I still love a happy ending.
As an adult, I realized how dark certain parts of the story are. The neglect of the Matilda’s parents, the death of Miss Honey’s father, the psychological and physical abuse meted out by the evil headmistress Miss Trunchbull. Those are heavy topics for a children’s book.
Decades after reading it for the first time, the story still draws me in. Dahl’s descriptive language paints a picture so vivid that I can’t help but react–cringing as Miss Trunchbull lifts on of Matilda’s classmates off his feet by his ears, exulting as Miss Honey tells Matilda how she escaped from her oppressive aunt or willing Matilda to succeed as she writes her secret message on the chalkboard.
The power of writing is making people feel.
Whether it’s in a children’s story book or a corporate communication or anything in between, you can create emotion. When you do that, you’ll connect with your audience in a new way.