The Life and Work of Roald Dahl

The Life and Work of Roald Dahl

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The Life and Work of Roald Dahl Roald Dahl is a British author with Norwegian parents, Harald and
Sofie Magdalena Dahl. He was born in Wales in 1916, and died in 1990.

Roald Dahl described his life in two books, “Boy” and “Going Solo”.
The former deals with his childhood, the second with his life after
school. In this book review I’m concentrating on his childhood in the
book “Boy”. Dahl won't call “Boy” an autobiography because that is
something he associate with a book full of all sorts of details about
the author’s life. And when he wrote “Boy” he just had many memories
from his childhood that he couldn’t forget, and decided to write them

“Boy” is about Roald Dahl`s life from the day he was born and until
the day the war broke out in 1939, when he was twenty-three years old.
Roald Dahl was born in Llandaff in South Wales with to Norwegian

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parents. He had four sisters (one of them died at the age of seven),
and he had one brother. His father died when Roald was four years old,
so he didn’t get to know him very well. Therefor he had a very good
relationship with his mother. The family used to spend the summer
holidays on a little Norwegian island, swimming, fishing and going by

When Roald was seven years old he started at Llandaff Cathedral
School. And two years later, when he was nine his mother sent him to a
boarding school in England called St Peter’s. He wrote home to his
mother every week, but all the letters were controlled by the
Headmaster, so they couldn’t write anything horrid about his school.
His main schooling was at Repton, a famous Public School in England,
where he started when he was thirteen.

Through the book he tells a lot about the regulations and the school
systems at the different schools he went to, and how much he disliked
it. Especially how they could get beaten for small mistakes like
leaving a football sock on the floor, for burning the toast at
teatime, or for forgetting to change into house-shoes at six o’clock.

When Roald was eighteen he turned down his mother’s offer of going to
Oxford or Cambridge. Instead he joined the Eastern Staff of the Shell
Company. And when he was twenty years old, Shell sent him to East
Africa where he remained until the world war two broke out in 1939.
How his life become after this, you can read in the book “Going Solo”.

Roald Dahl is the main character himself in this book. He is a boy who
had a very hard adolescence. He had to deal with much serious illness
in his family, and he had to experience a tough treatment by a lot of
headmasters and masters on the different schools. But after all this
he still managed to keep a wonderful perspective on his life. This
proves that he is a strong human being, who doesn’t give up when he
face adversity. Roald doesn’t only write about himself, he writes a
lot about the persons around him. Especially his parents. The first
chapter in the book is called “Papa and Mama”. His parents meant a lot
to him, and he was very proud of them.

His father, Harald Dahl, came from a small town near Oslo called
Sarpsborg. He had to amputate his arm because a drunk doctor mistook
his fractured elbow for a dislocated shoulder. But in spite of his
handicap, Harald managed to become a prosperous businessman.

Roald Dahl admired his mother, Sofie Dahl, because she took care of
six children all by her self after her husband died. A lot of people
would have travelled back to their home country where they had family,
but Sofie stayed in Wales, and fulfilled her husbands wish, that his
children went to school in England. She was “alone” in a foreign
country, and she managed this very well.

The Headmasters we get to know in this book demands discipline, and if
you don’t do exactly as they demand you to do, you will get punished.
These strict rules made the students insecure, and their performance
at school got considerable debilitated.

The theme in this book is childhood. When you read this book, you
understand how important your childhood is for how the rest of your
life will become. How you experience your life as a child, create an
important part of your personality as a grownup. Therefor it is an
important message to the adults to raise their children in a proper
way, so that they can become decent human beings.

I would recommend this book to grownups and children. I think this
book was a very interesting book to read. It is a lots of humours
moments that will create a smile in your face. There are also moments
that is unpleasant, but the greatest is that it is all true. This book
is worth reading!
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