Matilda Chapter 13 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.

Miss Honey has prepared the students for Miss Trunchbull's weekly visit, but there is no way the students could have been prepared for what Miss Trunchbull says or does. Even Miss Honey is surprised about how she behaves.

Miss Trunchbull's Class Visit

Up until now, everything that Matilda has heard about Miss Trunchbull were things that she only knew because of what she was told. But today's class visit makes her and many other students in the class a witness to how mean Miss Trunchbull can be.

To begin with, when Miss Trunchbull enters the room, her demeanor, or outward behavior, shows how bad her attitude is. ''The headmistress stood before the class, legs apart, hands on hips, glaring at the small boys and girls. ... Her expression was one of utter distaste, as though she were looking at something a dog had done in the middle of the floor.''

Three Innocent Students

The first student Miss Trunchbull talks to is Nigel Hicks. She stops to ask him when he last washed his hands. Nigel's father is a doctor, and he tells Miss Trunchbull ''that a bit of extra dirt never hurts anyone.'' Miss Trunchbull also has a problem with the one baked bean left over from lunch that's on his shirt. She gets mad and orders him to stand in the corner on one leg facing the wall.

The first thing Miss Trunchbull tests is how well the students can spell. After another student correctly spells ''difficulty,'' Nigel explains that Miss Honey teaches them how to spell by singing a song. Miss Trunchbull is unimpressed, or not excited, and tells Miss Honey to not teach spelling that way in the future. She leaves Nigel in the corner and moves on.

Multiplication is the next thing Miss Trunchbull checks. She chooses a boy named Rupert, and tells him to answer what is two sevens. He answers sixteen, and then eighteen. Growing frustrated, Miss Trunchbull uses her firm, or strong, hand to grab him by his hair and lift him out of his chair, high up into the air. She tells him two sevens are fourteen, and demands that he repeat it. After Rupert finally repeats it, she lets him go. ''He was a long way off the ground when she released him and he plummeted to the earth and hit the floor and bounced like a football.''

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