The Witches - Referat
The Witches (1983)
by Roald Dahl
Author: Roald Dahl was born in 1916 in Wales, of Norwegian parents. He was one of the most successful writers all over the world. He wrote books for children and adults. His work includes Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, Matilda and The BFG.
He died in November 1990 at the age of 74.
Type: It is a novel for children and youth.
Subject: The story is about an eight-year old boy whose life changes completely, when he meets a witch.
Characters: There are three main characters in the story.
Grandson: He is a British boy about 8 years old who has two mice. His parents were killed in a driving accident. Now he wants to live by his grandmother in Finland, but he is not allowed to and so they have to go back to Great Britain. His grandmother always tells him stories about real witches.
Grandmother: She is an old lady and takes care of her grandson, because his parents died in a car accident. She smokes cigars even when she is ill. She also tells her grandson stories about witches, before going to bed.
Grand High Witch: She looks like a normal woman, but she is the worst and the most dangerous witch in the whole world, she is also the head of all witches in the world. She hates children and she wants to kill all.
Setting: The story takes place in England.
Time: The story is set in present time.
Events: This is the story about an eight-year-old boy and his grandmother. His parents were killed in a car accident and now he lives with his grandmother in his old house in England. His grandmother always tells him stories about witches. She tells him also how to recognize a witch.
One day when he starts to build a tree-house he sees a woman, but he thinks it is a witch and he is right. He throws a hammer on the witch and shouted so loud that his grandmother can hear him and save him. From that moment on he and his grandmother are very careful.
Then the summer holidays come, the grandmother and his grandson decide to spend their holidays in Finland, but then the grandmother becomes ill and so the trip is too much for her. Finally they decide to go to the South of England. The boy takes two mice with him, but as the hotel-manager sees them he gets very angry. So the boy goes into the big ballroom to do mouse training. Suddenly some ladies come in.
He finds out that they are witches and that it is the witch meeting of all witches in England. The Grand High Witch tells about her magic liquid Formula 86 Delayed Action Mouse Maker. With this liquid they can get rid of children, because all children are turn into mice in 26 seconds when they drink the substance. The Grand High Witch demonstrates the other witches how the liquid works on a boy calls Bruno. She always tells how to make this substance. In the end of the meeting he is very happy that the witches cannot see him. But suddenly a witch shouted that she can smell a child and so the witches also turn him into a mouse. Now the little boys are both mice, and so they go to the grandmotherís room, to tell her the whole story. As they are in the room the mice tell her the story.
In the end of the book they can save all children in England because the boy is able to take the substance from the grand high witch room and put it into all meals of the witches. In 26 second all witches are turned into mice.
But the two mice Bruno and the grandson cannot turn into a normal boy again. And so they are mice till the end of their life. The grandmother and her grandson are very happy because now they can live in Finland and they decide to try to get rid of all the witches all over the world with the help of the Mouse Maker. They also know that the Grand High Witch lives in a castle, high up the hills, in Norway. After having changed her into a mouse they will live in the castle together.
Ideas: I think the author wants to tell us not to trust in all people and that there are many bad people in the world.
Comments: The book was easy to read and I did not have to look up many words in the dictionary. I like the story very much because it shows that not all people are friendly.
You really get to like the grandmother and her grandson, because they are against bad people.
I found it fantastic how they could turn all witches in England into mice.
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