Miss Honey in Matilda: Character Description & Quotes

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  • 0:04 Who Is Miss Honey?
  • 0:35 Miss Honey's…
  • 2:06 Miss Honey's Quiet Strength
  • 3:11 Lesson Summary
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Lesson Transcript
Instructor: Mary Evans

Mary has taught elementary school for six years and has a master's degree in education.

In the book Matilda, most of the adult characters are utterly horrible. They mistreat children and care only about themselves, but not Miss Honey! In this lesson, you'll learn about the one adult who seems worthy of the distinction.

Who Is Miss Honey?

In the book, Matilda, most of the adult characters are not presented in the best light. Usually kids look up to adults, learn from them, and depend on them--but the kids in Matilda cannot count on Matilda's parents or the headmistress, Miss Trunchbull. Thankfully, Miss Jennifer Honey is different. She is a breath of fresh air and a beacon of hope for Matilda. In case you don't remember, a beacon is a highly visible light that's set up for warning people or, in this case, for guiding people.

Miss Honey's Appearance & Demeanor

According to author Roald Dahl, Miss Honey ''had a lovely pale oval madonna face with blue eyes and her hair was light-brown. Her body was so slim and fragile one got the feeling that if she fell over she would smash into a thousand pieces, like a porcelain figure.'' She is around 23 or 24 years old.

Miss Honey teaches the youngest children at Crunchem Hall Primary School, and she is what we would probably think of as the perfect kindergarten teacher (in the book they call kindergarten the ''bottom form''). She has a warm, kind voice and she doesn't smile much, but the children love her all the same. Especially Matilda.

Matilda, whose parents seem to despise her, needs Miss Honey. Other than Mrs. Phelps, the librarian at the public library, no adult has ever taken an interest in her or noticed that she is special. Thankfully, Miss Honey notices immediately. When Miss Trunchbull refuses to move Matilda into a higher form, Miss Honey continues to nurture her, meaning to encourage and support her, specifically in learning in this case. She allows Matilda to study high level textbooks while the rest of her class learns simple reading and math. When you nurture something, you take care of it and help it to be the best it can be. Gardeners nurture plants by making sure they get good soil, water, and sunlight. Miss Honey nurtures Matilda with kind words and good books.

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