Matilda Chapter 3 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.

So far, the first four years of Matilda's life have been filled with parents that could care less about her, especially a father that is more of an enemy than an ally. In this chapter, she gets the revenge that she said she would get in Chapter 2.

Matilda's Revenge

Early in the morning, before her father finishes breakfast, Matilda decides to use Superglue on the inside rim of her father's hat. She uses a cane, or walking stick, to get her father's hat down off the high hook that it is on. Once it is down, she lines the inside rim with Superglue, and quickly puts the hat back before her father leaves the breakfast table. It's not until he gets to work that he realizes that the hat can't come off. He has to wear the hat all day.

Mr. Wormwood's Embarrassment

After being embarrassed all day, when Mr. Wormwood arrives home, he still doesn't have any idea that Matilda is the reason his hat has Superglue inside it. Mrs. Wormwood gives the hat ''a sharp yank,'' trying with all her might to pull it off.

Mr. Wormwood is fearful that the skin on his forehead will come off, so his wife stops pulling on the hat. During this moment, Matilda acts as if she doesn't know anything about it. She even compares the situation to a boy in the neighborhood who ''got some Superglue on his finger without knowing it and then he put his finger to his nose.''

The hat remains glued to Mr. Wormwood's head throughout dinner, and he even has to skip taking a shower because the hat won't come off. He sleeps with the hat on that night. Mrs. Wormwood tries to reassure him by saying, ''I expect it will be loose by the morning and then it'll slip off easily.''

Relief for Mr. Wormwood

The next morning, the hat still won't come off the way that Mrs. Wormwood thought it would. She ends up using scissors to cut the hat off. First, she cuts off the top of the hat, and then she cuts off the brim of the hat. The part of the hat that is wrapped around Mr. Wormwood's head is also cut away, along with his hair.

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