“Danny, the Champion of the World” by Roald Dahl Essay

May 31, 2022 by Essay Writer

Updated: Nov 20th, 2020

Born in Llandaff, South Wales 1916, Roald Dahl, the most successful children’s writer in the world, was a British novelist, short story writer, poet, screenwriter, and fighter pilot who received his education at Repton School in Derbyshire (“About Roald Dahl”). Dahl worked for Shell Petroleum Company in Africa who trained him in the United Kingdom (Howard) and then joined the Royal Air Force as a fighter pilot during World War II. First published in 1975, the book “Danny, the Champion of the World” was inspired by the Buckinghamshire countryside Roald Dahl lived in as a child.

His characters involve adult villains (eg the teacher and Mr. Hazell) who hate and mistreat children and often feature one “good” adult (eg Danny’s father and the doctor) to counteract the villains. These characters and experiences might be a reference to his unhappy memories of Dahl’s boarding days. The writer makes the reader believe in his dream world where children become champions and where, unlike the real world, the good always wins over evil.

It can be suggested that this novel also features class-conscious themes such as the villainous wealthy landowner that looks down on Danny and his father but also growing up, honesty, bravery, kindness, friendship, the delightful father-son relationship and what is right and wrong (“Roald Dahl”). These themes encourage children to think critically and draw their conclusions about right and wrong, fairness, and justice (Wood 124).

The ability to identify strongly with a protagonist keeps readers engaged. Dahl translates related experiences through his writing techniques such as using the original language, e.g., “scrumdiddlyumptious” meaning very delicious food (Dahl 144). The author also uses onomatopoeia, e.g., “uckyslush” which is not good to eat and similes “ “ to create humor. The writer expects the good to win over evil and prompts the readers to believe in the kind-hearted warm sentiment.

Works Cited

“About Roald Dahl.” Roald Dahl, 2015. Web.

Dahl, Roald. Danny the Champion of the World. Puffin Books, 2007.

Howard, Philip. “Dahl, Roald (1916-1990).” Oxford Dictionary of National Biography, Oxford University Press, 2004. Web.

Roald Dahl.” Encyclopedia Britannica, 2017. Web.

Wood, Chip. Yardsticks: Children in the classroom ages 4-14. Northeast Foundation for Children, 2007.

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