Matilda Chapter 10 Summary

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.

Usually when you are new to a school, you make friends and learn who the smartest students are, which ones behave badly, or what happens to kids when they do something wrong. These are some things that Matilda learns in Chapter 10.

Matilda's New Friends

The first friend that Matilda makes in Chapter 10 is Lavender. Lavender is in her kindergarten class and 'Right from the first day of term the two of them started wandering round together…' She's very small for a five-year-old and is described as a 'skinny little nymph with deep brown eyes with dark hair…' Both girls have an adventurous or bold spirit, and that's what the two like about each other.

Another person that Matilda gets to know is Hortensia, who is bolder than Matilda. Hortensia is described as 'a rugged ten-year-old with a boil on her nose.' As the three talk, Hortensia tells Lavender and Matilda about all of the bad things she's done at the school.

The last person introduced in this chapter is Amanda Thripp. Amanda is also about ten years old and wears her hair in two very long braided pigtails: 'Each pigtail had a blue satin bow at the end of it and it all looked very pretty.'

Hortensia's Bad Behavior

One of the things Hortensia tells Lavender and Matilda about is having to spend time in something called 'The Chokey' because of something she's done. The Chokey is a child-size standing box built like a cupboard. It is made of cement, broken glass, and nails.

Hortensia tells the girls that one thing she did was pour syrup on Miss Trunchbull's chair before she sat in it. Another thing she did was put itching powder in her gym knickers or pants that stop at the knee: '...a few days later…the Trunchbull suddenly started scratching herself like mad down below.' Like the incident with the syrup, Miss Trunchbull guessed that Hortensia put the itching powder in her knickers. Hortensia was punished by having to spend time in The Chokey again.

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