Hortensia from Matilda

Instructor: Audrey Akins

Audrey has more than a decade of experience teaching elementary. She has a bachelor's in journalism and a master's in education.

Typically in every school there is at least one student that can tell you everything you want to know about the school: who the nicest and meanest teachers are, the consequences of bad behavior, and the major events that happen at the school. In Matilda, Hortensia is the person that tells Matilda everything she needs to know.

Matilda Meets Hortensia

Matilda and her friend, Lavender, first meet Hortensia when they are at recess on the playground. Hortensia is much larger than most girls and described in a manner that does not imply that she is beautiful: ''...a rugged ten-year-old with a boil on her nose, called Hortensia.'' The story also describes her as being very tall and even speaks of her as a giant. When Hortensia approaches Matilda and Lavender, she proceeds to tell them about Miss Trunchbull.

Hortensia Tells about Miss Trunchbull and The Chokey

Hortensia doesn't hold back and tells the two girls exactly how Miss Trunchbull feels about children. ''She hates very small children. She thinks five-year-olds are grubs that haven't yet hatched out.'' She continues by telling them that some students have been carried out of the school yelling. At this point, Hortensia tells everything bad that she knows about Miss Trunchbull. The next thing she tells them about is 'The Chokey', which is where students are kept as a consequence for bad behavior. ''You have to stand more or less at attention all the time when you get locked up in there. The door's got thousands of sharp spikey nails sticking out of it.''

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