Joyita Shaw, Elham Ghahremani Fard


Roald Dahl’s novel Matilda is one of the famous novels on children’s literature of the 20th century. At the first glance, the story may be seen as only for childrenbut delving deeper one can discover that it also concerns women and their present condition in heterosexual society.As it is said that gender is a performance rather thanbiologicalidentity, this paper aims at rereading Matilda from the feminist perspective to uncover the layers of womanhood. Simone de Beauvoir in her seminal text “The Second Sex”aptly writes woman is not born but created as she is trained to take the position of suppressed Other.In this paper, we proposed to critically scan the story in keeping patriarchal construction in mind and how it plays a malicious role in shaping women’s psyche in general. In patriarchal construction, women live always in the margin and struggle to occupy the center.The present educational system also plays a crucial role in making the creature called woman. Patrilineal society always keepsthe woman away from asserting their identity so to perpetuate the male hierarchy.Women instead of cultivating inner qualities waste their time in enhancing their physical beauty. Patriarchy tends to glorify women in terms of their quality of self-negation for the sake of family and children. Patriarchy looks women as fragile, meek and submissive. It never accepts women who seek to go beyond such conventional rules as it isolates them from the mainstream society.Dahl’s novel is definitely of a child;however, it presents some very interesting women characters which also reveal his understanding of women in general. Hence, this paper also examines the novel keeping Dahl’s portrayal of women in mind as a writer of children enacts an important role in shaping the young minds.


children’s literature, feminism, women, marginal identity, patriarchy

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