Monday, June 18, 2012

"The Witches" by Roald Dahl

Before I really hit my heavy reading phase, Roald Dahl was one of my favorite authors. I have clear memories of reading and liking “James and the Giant Peach” and the Charlie books. Somehow, though, I didn’t manage to seek out and read all of his books. I need to get around to changing that. To my way of thinking he is an author with near perfect sensibilities.

I finally got around to reading “The Witches” after appreciating the film for years. I was even more impressed with the film for much of the length of the book with how faithful it stuck to the story and the sentiment. Then I got to the end, the part that doesn’t feel right in the movie, and I realized two things. The film fails to be great because it wimps out, and Dahl really was delightfully dreadful.

We have done children a tremendous disservice for some time now. Even though the greatest, most influential and educational stories for children have always been dangerous, foreboding and grim, we have decided that they should be shielded from any negativity. Oh sure, there is an overabundance of “darkness” in child and teen literature and film these days, but that is all aesthetic and decoration. At the core of youth fiction nothing bad ever happens. They have been led to believe that life is always fair. Forget good vs. evil, they are told that THEY will always overcome discomfort and hardship.

We need more stories where the hero battles evil and it costs them dearly. Because that is the way the world really is. There is evil, it needs to be faced, and it is never easy.

1 comment:

  1. i thought your book was amazing it was so good i could not take my head out of it


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