Matilda's Telekinesis: How Did Matilda Get Her Powers?

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.

Imagine that you got so mad that you could make something bad happen. That's exactly what happens to Matilda - she gets so upset that she makes a glass of water tip over just by thinking about it hard enough! In this lesson, we'll look at Matilda's power to move things without touching them.

Matilda Discovers Her Power

The first time Matilda realizes she can move things is in Miss Honey's class when Miss Trunchbull comes for her weekly lesson. Lavender had already planned to play a trick on Miss Trunchbull by putting a newt in the jug of water Miss Trunchbull expects during every class visit. After she pours water from the jug, the newt falls into her glass and is trapped inside until Matilda does something about it.

''And now, quite slowly, there began to creep over Matilda a most extraordinary and peculiar feeling. ... She kept her eyes steadily on the glass, and now the power was concentrating itself in one small part of each eye and growing stronger and stronger and it felt as though millions of tiny little invisible arms with hands on them were shooting out of her eyes towards the glass she was staring at.''

While Matilda sits at her desk, she thinks the words ''tip it'' over and over. The glass begins to tilt backwards and she keeps concentrating, pushing for the glass to tip over. The glass finally tilts over, and the newt splashes out with the water!

Matilda has concentrated so hard with her eyes that she made the glass move. This was her first experience realizing she has the power of telekinesis, or the power to move things using only her mind.

Matilda Proves Her Power

After Matilda tells Miss Honey what she can do, she has to prove that she can actually move things with her mind. Miss Honey asks her to move the glass again.

''And now she concentrated the whole of her mind and her brain and her will up into her eyes and once again but much more quickly than before she felt the electricity gathering ... and the hotness was coming into the eyeballs, and then the millions of tiny invisible arms with hands on them were shooting out towards the glass, and without making any sound at all she kept on shouting inside her head for the glass to go over.'' Just like the first time, the glass tipped over.

When Matilda realizes what she can do, she sets out to perfect using her power. She takes one of her father's cigars and shuts herself in her room. She practices over and over getting the cigar to move when she wants it to. '' 'Move!' she whispered, and to her intense surprise, almost at once, the cigar with its little red and gold paper band around its middle rolled away across the top of the dressing-table and fell onto the carpet.''

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