Matilda Chapter 19 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.

When most five-year-old children are left alone at home, they panic and cry, hoping that someone will be there soon. But for Matilda, it's the norm. In this chapter, Matilda develops her power to move things with her eyes so that she can use it when she's ready.

Alone Again

Once again, Matilda is at home by herself because her father works a lot, her brother is always gone, and her mother has to play bingo every day. Matilda thinks about her idea for helping Miss Honey.

Unlike her previous ways of passing time by reading or preparing a trick to play on her father, Matilda takes advantage of this time alone to develop herself. She begins by getting one of her father's cigars from the living room, where he keeps them in a drawer. This is the perfect time because he's not around to stop her or yell at her.

Power Practice

Once Matilda gets her father's cigar, she goes to her room. She takes her brush, comb, and two books off of her dresser, then puts the cigar on it. Then she sits on her bed looking at the cigar and concentrating on moving it with her eyes. ''She knew she wouldn't manage it right away, but she felt fairly confident that with a great deal of practice and effort, she would succeed in the end.'' To succeed means that Matilda will accomplish what she sets out to do.

As Matilda sits on her bed concentrating, she whispers aloud for the cigar to move. The cigar rolls and then falls on the floor. After picking up the cigar, Matilda's next challenge is to lift the cigar since she has mastered pushing it. She thinks to herself, ''It is vital I learn how to lift it. I must learn how to lift it right up into the air and keep it there.'' Although she is only five, Matilda somehow knows that vital, or necessary, is the best way to think of her situation.

This time, she whispers lift to herself. Learning to control what she calls her eye power when she wants to is something that she depends, or counts, on.

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