Matilda Chapter 20 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.

Once Matilda finds out everything she wants to know about Miss Honey, she uses Miss Trunchbull's upcoming classroom visit get revenge on her. Chapter 20 is the last time Miss Trunchbull will hurt anyone ever again.

Miss Trunchbull Returns

Miss Honey prepares her class for their second lesson with Miss Trunchbull. Miss Honey speaks to each of the boys who Miss Trunchbull had problems with last time, and urges the entire class to '...let us all try to be especially careful and clever today.' When Miss Trunchbull arrives, she decides to test the kids on how well they can multiply by three. The students she picks on is Wilfred. She tells him to 'Recite the three-times table backwards!' Miss Honey immediately comes to his defense and Miss Trunchbull asks him another question. This time she asks him to tell her what amount she has if she has 'seven apples, seven oranges, and seven bananas.' Wilfred tells her that's an addition problem, which gets her angry. Next she says, 'I have eight coconuts, eight monkey-nuts and eight nutty little idiots like you. How many nuts do I have all together?' Eventually, she ends up holding Wilfred upside down and has him repeat the answer after she tells him. While this is happening, the class notices something else on the other side of the room.

Matilda's Final Trick

While Miss Trunchbull is holding Wilfred upside down by his ankles, students see a word being written on the board with chalk. It's Miss Trunchbull's name, Agatha. 'It had shaken her to see her own first name being written like that by an invisible hand. She dropped Wilfred on to the floor.' The board went from having Agatha written on it, to saying 'This is Magnus.' The final message on the board demands that Miss Trunchbull give Miss Honey her house back, her wages, or money earned from working, and to leave town. When the writing stopped, the chalk just fell to the floor and broke. Miss Trunchbull is the next thing that falls to the ground.

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