Roald Dahl is one of the most famous and well recognised children’s book authors.

His stories are quick classics; a staple in the forming of a child’s growing imagination. Most stories relate to lifelong lessons that are better learned as a child. His books are told from the child’s viewpoint, which will often put the adults as the villains in the plot. There will always be a good ending as life is full of opportunities as he believed.

roald dahl

Take It from the Top

Not every author is born knowing they will one day be famous; sometimes it happens to be they never knew they were going to be a writer! This was very much the case for Roald Dahl. Starting off in the Royal Air Force, he eventually settled down to a 30-year marriage and had five children. His life is dotted with historical and saddening moments. Many of his books are dedicated to family members who were lost or sick, Dahl believed that a smile could work wonders for a child. After a divorce, Dahl continued writing and improved dramatically, selling more copies than he had in the previous years. He was also very involved in the community, he wrote about what was passionate to him, thus to others. His colleagues can be quoted as saying “he was a man who went on a whim; you never knew which side he would take.”

Style Progression

Roald Dahl worked with many artists at the beginning of his career, yet his style has always been distinct. Despite various influences over time, Dahl has remained true to the style that inspired him to start writing; inspire learning among youth. His widely known partner in writing was Quentin Blake. Blake was a huge influence on Dahl and helped him learn his strengths. Through collaborating, Dahl was able to work with another great artists and showcase his skills.

quentin blake

Why Dahl Is Remembered

Understanding why this man is still a staple in the learning process, and imaginative palette parent’s use, is relatively straight forward when you understand his motives. Dahl wanted to inspire children to overcome the obstacles before them, such as in Charlie and the Chocolate Factory; Charlie over came insurmountable odds and gained new opportunities. There was a lesson in every piece written by Dahl, no matter what your age was, you could always relate. As an adult reading the stories, at times the meaning may be hallowing, the use of dark humor was critical in his writing.

quentin blake

Common Themes

Poverty- Growing up, Dahl was raised with various economical influences. Britain was not the epicenter of wealth, but there was enough to go around. As a writer, Dahl often would pull memories and slums that were located in the darker recesses of the area.
Self-Worth- Most of the characters created have a sense of learned helplessness in the start of the books. Through a traumatic event or plot twist, the person becomes more self-reliable and has greater confidence in their actions.
Bad Relatives- Dahl is known for taking family members of characters and turning them into the antagonists that are fairly cruel to the main character. Another relative will there to help guide the character along, helping them to reach whatever lesson needs to be learned. There is not always a predictable ending, and that is what makes reading the stories so interesting.

As with many authors their work gets the most notoriety when they pass. Great writers such as Dahl will not be forgotten as his stories still can influence youth. While not officially classed as a classic, most titles are known in the majority of households.