What are the elements of feminism in the book Matilda? What evidence or examples can you give to prove that Matilda is a feminist book?

Quick answer:

Matilda is a feminist book because the character of Matilda shows strength, independence, and self-reliance. She does not rely on others and she fights against injustice. Whereas many children's books portray girls as needing protection and rescuing, or as being meek, submissive creatures that need to be told what to do (especially by boys), Matilda portrays a girl who knows how to stand up for herself and fight injustice; she is an independent thinker who understands her own power.

Expert Answers

An illustration of the letter 'A' in a speech bubbles

To understand Matilda as a feminist book, look closely at the character of Matilda and her actions in the story. She is strong, strong-willed, and independent-thinking, despite the fact that she is subjugated by the figures of authority in her life. Matilda is curious and adventurous, and she is thirsty for knowledge in a way that conveys to the reader that she understands its power. Matilda appears to know that gaining knowledge will help her defend herself against injustice and against those in positions of power who might try to devalue her strengths and abilities. Throughout the story, Matilda remains resolute in her convictions and demonstrates independence and strength.

Matilda is not weakened by others' attempts to weaken her. She does not rely on others to take care of her, either—she takes herself to the library, she teaches herself to read, she fights against injustice, and she takes care of herself. Matilda is proactive rather than submissive. She is tenacious, clever, and confident. She serves as a role model for young girls by showing them that they have the ability to stand strong, to fight for themselves, to set goals and accomplish them, to set themselves up for success, and to rebel against the forces that attempt to knock them down and undermine their strength.

See eNotes Ad-Free

Start your 48-hour free trial to get access to more than 30,000 additional guides and more than 350,000 Homework Help questions answered by our experts.

Get 48 Hours Free Access
Approved by eNotes Editorial