The BFG Questions and Answers
by Roald Dahl

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What time is it when Sophie is waiting on the Queen's windowsill in The BFG?

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Marietta Sadler eNotes educator | Certified Educator

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When Sophie and the BFG set out for the Queen's Palace in chapter 17, the sky is described as "dim and milky in the moonlight," suggesting that when they set out it is late afternoon or early evening. When they reach Hyde Park, "just across the road" from the Queen's Palace, Dahl writes that it is "still an hour before dawn." This suggests that Sophie and the BFG have been traveling all night.

After the BFG places Sophie onto the Queen's windowsill, in chapter 18, he "melt[s] away into the dark garden." This suggests that when Sophie begins to wait on the Queen's Windowsill it is still before dawn, and thus in the early morning, perhaps at about five or six o'clock.

Chapter 20 begins with the phrase, "Dawn came at last." Sophie feels the warmth of the morning sun on her back, and she listens to "the strikes" of the church clock. She hears seven strikes, meaning that it is seven o'clock in the morning. Not long after this, the Queen discovers Sophie on her windowsill, hidden behind the curtains. They talk for a few minutes and then Sophie calls to the BFG, who is waiting in the garden. The Queen then invites Sophie to jump down from the windowsill, and Sophie obliges.

Therefore, from the clues in the text, we can infer that Sophie waits on the Queen's windowsill from about one hour before dawn and until a few minutes after seven o'clock in the morning.

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