Roald Dahl in his writings has been very categorical on how he perceives human nature all the way from the earlier centuries. He came up with distinct and unique analogies in regards to this issue. One of his most famous books is ‘Lamb to the slaughter’. (West 3) This is a story that demonstrates Dahl’s exceptional ability to look at aspects of human perversity, hostility and also aggression. His writing and how he brings out the story shows he is detached narrator and also some aspects of black. He also a comical narrator as depicted in his literary writings for the children in books such as Matilda and also James the Giant speech. It is therefore clear that there are undeniable aspects of the comic nature in Roald Dahl’s writings that bring out the element of grotesqueness and the darker nature of human beings, and he does so by reaching out to the most innocent of all, the children .
The main aim and objective of the aforementioned of this particular theme is to get clear information on the assertions that the famous author of the humorous writings that are dedicated to the children is indeed a passionate writer and also the originator of the grotesque and also monstrous imaginary tales (Fiction). There my submission on this particular thesis is generally based on the assertion that unless one looks at Dahl’s writings on the basis of their grotesque aspect, then a critical and deep analysis of his famous works will only be a matter of what feels about them and also the taste. Roald Dahl has often faced a lot of criticism in respect of his work with those not pleased with his work often calling him an ingenious, pessimistic and also having a general sadistic nature (Guerlac 67).
Ronald Dahl’s position in the modern children’s literature is quite complex in definition and also how one would categorize his literal works. He began his writing on children around 1961 and has been given accolades or his story telling and exceptional writing unique talent and also equally criticized for his radical approach and views in regards to the issue of violence and also brutality. Despite the varied views in terms of his ability in writing, there is one common approach by those who support him and those who criticize him that he stories and narrations are in a way disgusting. However this approach is not a criticism to his writing skill and ability. When one looks closely and analyzes the woks of Dahl, one thing that clearly comes out is that is illustration of violence and brutality are actually part and parcel of a difficult and multifarious literally genre that is usually referred to as the comic grotesque
In respect to its description of a literally classification the word grotesque is generally a modern term that has not been in existence in the pats. However is an exceptional and also a unique style of literature.. Despite the word initially being sued in ornamentally way of art, initial points of view to its form are quite comparable to the modern day definition and analysis of this particular term. In a nutshell there remain very different approaches in this subject. In the works of Dahl, the relationship usually depicts itself through the interaction of the comic side of things and the gruesome aspects. It usually reflects to the disputed approach to the term grotesque in that the readers misunderstanding and different reactions and view are taken into account.
This particular analogy of an alienated response and view is a very essential aspect in the work of Roald Dahl (Guerlac 29). Vividly the readers are in equal measures enthralled and also repelled by his writings. While appreciating the comical side of his writings, it is undeniable that the reader usually discovers much of the menacing aspects in these stories.
However in most cases the darker side of the human condition and nature is usually comprehended through humor and that is how Dahl’s texts and writings have come to be called the comic grotesque (Ruffin 37).It is true that Dahl has a deep and passionate understanding. Of what is likeable and appealing to the young readers because in his stories he has the ability to illustrate his mind and his thinking just the same way ad manner a child does.
He is able to recognize appreciate the taste and clamor for fiction in grotesque terms thus eventually he able to put into consideration that children are quite distinct and different from the adults. The children usually a coarser sense of comic that the adults. (Ganin 43)They are generally cruel and Dahl stories are efficiently considers the aspect of sadistic instinct which enables the child to vicariously live out of imaginations of wishful thinking through the key characters in the writings. A critical analysis and review to the stories and writings by Dahl are indeed varied in different scales. The main reason for the divergent views lies on subjectivity of the reader and also his or her view on the inconsistent aspects of Dahl’s fiction.
Human nature entails differentiating characteristics’ and this includes the way of thinking we feel and also our way of acting that naturally human beings have were working independently have a total independence against the influence and impact. (Guerlac 21). The questions that arise are what these characteristics are, the cause of their existence and also deals with how human nature is stack at one point.
Another aspect that clearly defines Dahl’s grotesque from the other genre is simply its exceptional invigorating ability. One of the major critics of his work is Bakhtin and was among the first people to conduct a deep analysis of the effects of the comic grotesque. This is one major theme on all Dahl. “Bakhtin draws attention to the positive, regenerating, creative powers of laughter.” (Bakhtin 71). His approach to his is consistent with the interpretation and understanding off humor that is related to the children which generally entails the role of the child as the victorious hero. Dahl therefore came to the realization that there is a significant amount of hypocrisy amongst the adults in our society. In efforts to eradicate that hypocrisy, he reverses the responsibilities of an adult and those that belong to a child.
This particular notion is clearly illustrated in some famous writings such as matlida and also George’s marvelous medicine. The child is usually empowered and immensely supported while the adult is overpowered by being teased and scornful grotesque laughter (Guerlac 32). At the foundation of his comic grotesque lies the intention and aims of the author i.e. the aims and goals he hopes to have achieved by the end of his writing.
“My only purpose in writing book for children is to encourage them to develop a love for books. I’m not trying to indoctrinate then in any way. I’m trying to entertain them. If I can get a young person into the habit of reading and thinking that books are fun, then, with a bit of luck that habit will continue through life”.(West 73-74). Eventually Dahl looks at the issue comic grotesque as vital tool and recipe that is technically devised to inculcate the culture and habit of reading books amongst the children. He does this in total disregard that in that process of trying to influence the children to love reading he may likely offend the adults. He usually prefers paying the price so long he pleases the children in his stories and other aspects of his writing just to create a culture of reading at a tender age.
In the works of Dahl the comic aspect of the grotesque is what defines and dominates his writing. It is usually illustrated in how the author uses characterization. His plot and settings of the stories and also the language he uses to express his mind and thinking to a particular scenario. (Ganin 53). Essentially his writing and storytelling is able to attain depth and relevance when one takes into consideration the therapeutic impact of the grotesque (Ganin 56). By making fun of the adults he is able to provide to the children through his stories a counter culture to the world i.e. the childhood way of doing things. In light of this context the grotesque is simply interpreted as way of eradicating, dealing with anxiety and also domination in world that is controlled and ran by the adults.
After a critical analysis of the comic grotesque in the works and writings of Roald Dahl, it becomes vivid that the criticism leveled against him as unfounded and lacking meaning. His most vocals critics never conducted a good research on the nature of the statements they made when they described his work as violent, aggressive, sadistic and also cruel. (West 114). If only they had done a thorough research in regard to his writing style they would have been able to discover that indeed his darker aspects are actually undercut by the comical nature of his writing and stories.
It is clear that the critics of Roald Dahl only adopted a shallow approach and understanding on the nature of his work. They just made a hasty generalization on his abilities and skill in regards to storytelling. They also looked at the stories written by Dahl from a perceptive of an adult and failed to take in consideration the interest o the children. It is a fact that the comic grotesque in the writings and stories of Roald Dahl emanates from the same source as Rabelaisian folk comic. (West 214)
This therefore illustrates that it must always be understood and interpreted positively, in the right context and also in the regenerative approach. Thus if there is any credit and value that has to be made in regard to Dahl’s children’s stories, they have to critically analyzed and viewed in respect to their grotesque attributes and not in terms of preference and savor. (West 233) Those who criticize his works do so out emotions and ignorance of the comic grotesque elements of that dominates his writing and also storytelling.
Ganin, John M. “Medieval Literature as Monster. The Grotesque Before and After Bahtin.” Exemplaraia 7 (1995): 27-40
Guerlac, Suzanne, “Delights of Grotesque and sublime.”(1985): 47-53.
Powling, Chris. Road Dahl. London: Evans, 2009. Print.
Ruffin, Frances E. Meet Roald Dahl. New-York: Power kids press, 2006. Print.
West, Mark 1. “The grotesque and the taboo in Road Dahl’s Humorous Writings for children.” Children’ literature Association Quarterly 15(1990)
Wheeler, Jill C. Ronald Dahl. Edina, Minn: ABDO Pub. Co, 2007. Internet resource.