I choose to read the novel Boy, by Roald Dahl. My whole class has chosen this novel and we are going to work with it at school. It is also a little bit interesting to read Boy because Roald Dahl’s parents both were Norwegian.
Roald Dahl was born in Llandaff, in Wales, in 1916. Roald’s father was eager that his children should get a good private school education in England. This way English became Roald’s mother tongue. Roald Dahl finished his education at Repton School, and joined the Shell Oil Company in London. Four years later he was sent to Dar-es-Salaam. During world war two he enlisted in the Royal Air Force. He was serious damaged. Roald also spent some time in Washington DC, where he began to write short stories. He wrote books for both children and adults. For example: Someone like you and Going solo, for grown ups and: Charlie and the chocolate factory for kids. Roald Dahl died in 1990, 74 years old.
Roald’s father, Harald, came from Norway, and lived in a small town called Sarpsborg. He and his brother, Oscar moved to get a well paid job. They both were very successful and started to separate businesses. Oscar in La Rochelle, France, and Harald started the ship broking firm “Aadensen & Dahl” together with Mr. Aadnesen, in Cardiff. The firm grew and soon they had more business than they could handle alone. They engaged more staff and acquired a larger office space. Now they really started to earn money.
Roald’s father’s first wife died giving birth to her second child, and Harald decided to find him self another wife. He met Roald’s mother, Sofie Magdalena Hesselberg, in Norway and within a week they got married. During six years she gave birth to four children; three girls and off course Roald. In 1920 Roald lost both his father and sister, and Sofie was left alone with responsibility for five children. She stayed in England to give her children an English education. Roald started his “school career” in Elmtree House, a kindergarten, when he was six years old. His best and almost his only memory were riding his tricycle bike to kindergarten everyday.
From age seven to nine he went to Llandaff Cathedral School. One of the things that made a huge impression on him during his time there was the sweet-shop. Roald and his friends had to pass the shop everyday on their way to school. The lady that owned the shop, Mrs. Pratchett, was a filthy and disgusting woman. No one of the boy’s liked her, and one day they decided to fool around with her. The plan was Roald’s and was called; “The Great Mouse Plot”. To make a long story short, he and his friends put a dead mouse in one of Mrs.Pratchett’s jars of sweet. You can believe they had to pay for that later. Mr.Coombes was Roald’s head master at Llandaff, and was very scary to Roald, he gave the boy’s a round with the cane when ever they misbehaved.
In 1925 Roald joined his first boarding school at St. Peter’s. He was there for four years, from age nine to thirteen. He was sent away with his tuck-box, witch every boy had at that time when they began at a boarding school. The box was filled with food, fruit, biscuits and other secret boy stuff. The head master at this school also believed in physical-punishment, and Roald was very scared of him. Roald became home sick, and pretended to have the appendicitis. He got home for a short period, but had to go back again.
When Roald was thirteen years old he began at Repton School. He remembers that his school uniform was horrible. At Repton Roald got very good at games and photography, he even got the title; “Captain of Fives”, a really fast ball game. His photographing got very good and he got prizes and medals from the Royal Photographic Society in London. The head master on this school I would describe as a rat, just like the other head masters. Roald made it through Repton as well and joined Shell Oil Company where he started his career.
The main character in this novel is Roald Dahl. He is a like most boy’s; curious and full of life. Roald is very attached to his mother who raised him and his siblings all by her self. He admires her courage and organization skills. He especially remembers her packing when they were going to Norway on vacation. Sofie has always been Roalds steady rock. He is a boy who was good in both sports and art.
Sofie, Roald’s mother also has a central part in this novel; she is a strong and independent woman. She showed great courage when she stayed in UK after Harald, her husband, died. You don’t pick her nose, something Mr. Coombs got to know. When he had used the cane on Roald she marched strait to him and took him out of school.
The setting is in UK, in the 1900s. We follow Roald trough his years of education, and we get to learn about the school system in England. We hear a lot of his memories of the boarding schools. Some of the setting is also in Norway, where Roald and his family go on vacation every summer. Roald’s family is in the upper class.
I’ve chosen to write about both theme and message together since I think it’s much the same in this novel. The theme of the story is how he felt as a little boy, who was sent away to boarding school. And how it was to be separated from his family at such a young age. I think Roald wanted us to know how the teachers and head masters abused their power, and how violent they were. I don’t think this could happen today.
In my opinion this book is very entertaining; Roald describes the situations, and people so good that you almost can smell them. He is writing this novel in a way so it’s like a boy that is telling us the story. One example is how he described Mrs. Preatchett, after reading that I got a disgusting picture of her filthy hands on my mind. This book a can recommend to all grown ups and young adults. So if you got any spear time, run to your bookstore and buy this book. I guarantee you a good time reading Boy!