Book Review Boy | Hamro Patro

ब्लग - साहित्य / बाल साहित्य

Book Review: Boy

   Aarav BC - Feb 13 2023

The book starts with an incident. Harald (Dahl’s father) breaks his arm; they take him to the doctor. However, the doctor was drunk and mistook the injury for a dislocated shoulder. While trying to relocate it, the arm became beyond repair. Harald had two wives. The first wife died after giving birth to two children, and then he married another woman, with whom he had five more children, including Roald. When Roald was four, his sister died of appendicitis, and shortly after that, his father also died of pneumonia. So his childhood was really hard. Harald wanted his children to attend British schools, and Sophie (Harald’s second wife) resolved to fulfill his wish. She sends her children to a British school. Dahl recalls one noteworthy incident from age 5. At that age, he and his friends used to prank people a lot. There was a sweet shop in the town that was run by Mrs. Pratchett. Once they found a dead mouse, and what they decided to do was slip the mouse into one of the gobstoppers (a type of sweet) to scare Mrs. Pratchett. The plan worked. However, Mrs. Prachett reported them to the school headmaster, and they got beaten up really hard by their teacher. He also shares many experiences like these from his childhood. He also mentions that he and his family used to spend their summer holidays in Norway. They arrived in Oslo at Sophie's parents' house after a four-day journey. Dahl refers to Sophie's parents as the Bestemama and Bestepappa. The next day they went to a place called "The Magic Island," where they went boating and explored the island. Dahl remembers one day during the holidays when his mother took him to the doctor. The doctor stuck a small tool in Dahl’s mouth and cut out his adenoids. This was a common practice at the time. Dahl had been going there for many years. After that, at the age of nine, he started studying at a boarding school named St. Peter's, which was in Weston Super Mare. It was located on a hill above the town. One-third of the building was reserved for the headmaster and his family, and the other two were for one hundred and fifty boys. As they got out of the taxi, the headmaster came and greeted them; after that, his mother climbed back on the taxi, and Dahl began to cry. At St. Peter's, Sunday morning was letter-writing time. At nine o'clock, the whole school had to go to their desks and spend one hour writing a letter home to their respective parents. He wrote his mom letters once a week or sometimes more until she died when she was 32 years old. His mother had kept all of his letters bound. In 1957 A.D., when his mother was dying, Dahl, on the other hand, was admitted to a hospital in Oxford and had an operation on his spine. He had no clue that his mother was going to die. She never told him about it. She had a telephone specially installed beside her bed so that she could have one last conversation with her son. She called him on her last day before her demise, and still she did not talk about her; she talked normally and asked how he was doing, and that was the last conversation between Roald and his mom Sophie. He used to keep writing letters to his mom on St. Patrick's Day, and the headmaster would go to every class and inspect everyone's letters so that they wouldn’t write anything bad about the school. Also, he mentions that they used to call their teachers "master." At the age of 12, his mother again shifted him to another public school. She gave Roald two school choices: Marlborough and Repton. He said he would join Repton because it was easier to pronounce. But both schools were really good and famous. He spent four years at Repton. In his last year, his mother asked him if he wanted to go to Oxford or Cambridge after school was finished. He replied to her, saying, "No, thank you. "I want to go straight from school to work for a company that will send me to wonderful faraway places like Africa or China." So during his last term, he applied for the job, and he got selected. And he went to Africa for his job. After that, the Second World War broke out. And he joined the Royal Air Force, where he became a pilot.

Critical Analysis:
The book "Boy" was written by Roald Dahl. He is a great author and the best storyteller. The book was his first autobiography. The book tells us about his (Roald's) life from his birth until he graduated from high school.The book also talks about how cruel teachers were back in his day. The teachers used to beat the children without hesitation. Nowadays, if teachers beat children for every bad thing they do, they could go to jail, whereas before 30 or 40 years, the teachers used to beat children very badly, and this is also one of the things talked about in the book. He talks about his experiences in school and in his childhood. He also mentions a little about his time as a fighter pilot in the Second World War. The book talks about how difficult it is when your parents leave you in an unknown place to study where the teachers are very strict. This feeling is very hard to face for a small child. The education system is good but very strict. The teachers were very strict and cruel. They wouldn’t hesitate to beat you, no matter how small or big you are.

My opinion:
The book is really good, in my opinion, and there are many reasons for that. The book is very easy to understand; Dahl has not used difficult words in the book. Also, it is an autobiographical novel. The book teaches a lot of things to the reader. We learn about the education system in the nineteenth century. We get to know a lot more about the author, Roald Dahl. Personally, I really liked the book, and I will recommend it to teenage kids because the book teaches a lot more than what is in the book, and teenagers will be able to understand it perfectly.

Aarav BC
Grade: X, Machhapuchare
Deerwalk Sifal School

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