This article provides detailed descriptions of the Matilda characters, including Matilda, Miss Honey and The Trunchbull. Use this character guide to help you improve comprehension and understand themes and motives.
Discover more about the characters in Matilda. The information is supported with quotes directly from the book, and corresponding page numbers for the Scholastic version of the story are offered.
Matilda Wormwood is the main character in the story, and of the Matilda characters she is (by far) the most likable. At the beginning of the novel, we are introduced to Matilda as a 4 1/2-years old who possesses an intellect far above her years. Dahl even goes so far as to describe her as a "child-genius and prodigy." (p. 75) Matilda loves to read even though her parents refuse to allow any books in the house - instead preferring that she and her brother simply watch the television. Later in the story, it is revealed that Matilda also possesses the powers of psychokinesis (the ability to move things with her mind) and it is implied that these powers are a result of the repressed anger she feels toward her parents and Headmistress who vacillate between ignoring and belittling her. By the time Matilda enters Crunchem Hall Primary School she is 5 1/2-years old.
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Michael Wormwood is Matilda's older brother. Although he does not posses the same level of intellect or ability as his sister, he is clearly the favorite in the Wormwood household.
Mrs. Phelps is the local librarian who encourages Matilda's love of reading.
Mr. Harry Wormwood is Matilda's father. Harry is also a used car dealer, and right from the start of the book we learn that he is a dishonest business man. He puts sawdust in his customers' cars to make them sound better and runs the cars backward to turn...