Ashley's Reviews > Fantastic Mr. Fox

Fantastic Mr. Fox by Roald Dahl
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May 05, 2011

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Read in May, 2011

I was pretty pumped to read this for two reasons. One, this is one of the only Roald Dahl books I read as a kid (the other being "The BFG"). Two, this is one of my absolute favorite movies. Although I didn't remember much of the book from when I was little, and the movie is not totally similar to the book, I still enjoyed reading "The Fantastic Mr. Fox." Reading it immediately after "The Twits" made me notice a couple reoccurring themes in Dahl's books:

1. If you are ugly, it is because you are mean.
Kids are shallow enough, do we really need to instill thoughts like this? A lot of emphasis is put on the physical appearance of the villains, and for entertainment and gross-out factor it's great, but for moral values, not so much. Kids seem to have the distinction in their heads already that ugly people are mean and pretty people are nice, so this almost acts as a reinforcer.

2. Do whatever the hell your dad tells you to do.
No matter what. No matter how psychotic he is. No matter how much danger he may put you in. Do not ask questions, do not fear repercussions, just do it. Your father is a very clever man (erm, animal), so just listen to him.
I wonder if Roald Dahl had unruly children. . . hm.

3. There really are a lot of ethical issues in these books.
Revenge, punishment, theft, survival, etc. are all moral qualms contained in these books that are less than 100 pages long, and are aimed at elementary school children(if you subtract the pictures, probably less than 50 pages). Honestly, most adults don't have these sort of ethical understandings. If taught in a classroom where the teacher encourages thought, and not just recitation of material, then these books could have a lot more value than what's on the surface.
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