Roald Dahl is one of the most world renowned illustrators in the world. His work is a household name for families all over the world for his bright and colorful characters. He has done numerous books with incredibly detailed characters; he has even worked with several artists over the years, but mainly Quentin Blake, who’s work can be seen throughout. Dahl’s most famous work is that from Charlie and The Chocolate Factory, The Giraffe and the Pelly and Me, and James and the Giant Peach just to name a few.
Dahl is an artist of opportunity. Each of his masterpieces has hundreds of hours and sheets of paper to perfect and hone a drawing into a useable product. Throughout his life, he has taken tragic, happy, or life altering events and made an enthralling story about it. As the story is read, the lesson may not be evident until the very end. However, Dahl has worked in a moral into every book.
Charlie and the Chocolate Factory
Throughout this book, the overlying theme is to follow the directions of your elders, take nothing for granted, and be forever grateful for what you have. Specific characters like Charlie, Augustus, and Veronica all help to bring home these themes.
Charlie Bucket– Little humble Charlie is the showcase of humility. When Dahl created Charlie, it was loosely based on his personal childhood. Dahl was in no means raised in a lavish lifestyle, neither was Charlie. Through it all, they both rose to the occasion and made a great future through staying positive and kind to others.
Augustus Gloop- The epitome of gluttony, which was a tremendous deal back when the book was written in 1964. Gluttony was considered a sin, not just a social taboo. Thus, this very ignorant boy with German decent was an ideal way to show what sin can gain you.
Veronica Beauregarde– Nothing is worse than hearing gum-snapping in your ear. Dahl loosely created Veronica with a nod toward the political and social class mess. People are obsessed with becoming someone or something that it consumes them. This was precisely the case with the blueberry Veronica. She was so obsessed with gum chewing, she simply would not listen to anyone involved, which lead to extensive character staining.
The Giraffe and the Pelly and Me
Billy- Billy is a very relatable character created by Dahl. The little boy lives in an impoverished setting, which is a very common theme among the books done by Dahl. However, upon meaning the Duke, Billy’s life is forever changed for the better, all his dreams can finally come through. The theme in The Giraffe and the Pelly and Me is being able to network! Having friends teach essential skills can help progress you through all of your challenges and give you propulsion to meet your goals.
James and the Giant Peach
James Henry Trotter– Living with two awful aunts, one can only imagine the amount of wonder the boy experiences when a man gives him a strange gift. The motivations for writing this book are a little unclear, yet Dahl loved to leave his audience guessing. The moral one can quickly glean from the pages is that if you try hard enough, adventure and good tidings will come your way.
Dahl is an excellent illustrator and author who deserves all the recognition in the world. Chances are, you have read some of his stories, or seen his work, and not even known about it. Dahl can bring enormous concepts and break them down into bite-size bits that makes learning a fun process for all.