5 Life Lessons from Roald Dahl's Children's Books
What do the movies James and the Giant Peach, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, Matilda, Fantastic Mr. Fox, and The BFG have in common?
They are all film adaptations of the novels written by British author and scriptwriter Roald Dahl who's classic works continue to draw people into the magical world of giant peaches, talking bugs, friendly giants, and child geniuses. Here are five important life lessons that all people, young and old, can take away from their film adaptations.
Don’t judge a book by its cover.
In the upcoming film The BFG, 10-year-old Sophie meets a Big Friendly Giant who introduces her to Giant Country. While Sophie was initially afraid of the Giant, she eventually realizes that he was gentle and charming, and they become good friends. In this story, Sophie teaches us to look beyond our differences and take the chance to befriend other people.
It’s okay to be different.
Young genius Matilda Wormwood certainly did not share anything in common with her family; Matilda loves to read, while her family only watches TV. Willy Wonka was an eccentric recluse. The Big Friendly Giant refuses to eat humans, unlike his fellow giants. Like Dahl’s characters, we don’t always need to blend in the crowd. Sometimes, it is better to stand out from the pack.
Teamwork always works.
In The BFG, Sophie and the Big Friendly Giant work together to help get rid of the man-eating giants on the loose in the human world. Together, they devise a plan to capture the giants and hold them accountable for their evil deeds—something that they could not have done individually.
Friends are the family you choose.
James Henry Trotter in James and the Giant Peach was orphaned at a young age and ended up living with his cruel aunts, who beat him and forced him to work all day. When he meets a mysterious man with a bag of magic crocodile tongues that grew into a giant peach, James discovers and befriends giant bugs. James and his newfound friends escape the cruel aunts and go on a wild adventure to New York City, where they all ended up living together as a family.
Family is important.
Charlie and the Chocolate Factory teaches us the value of family. In the film, Willy Wonka declared Charlie to be his heir and live with Wonka in the factory, on the condition that Charlie has to leave his family behind. Charlie rejected the offer and opted to be with his family. Charlie also helped Wonka find and reconcile with his father.