Matilda by Roald Dahl Summary (Question and Answer)

Chapter Two (Matilda by Roald Dahl)

CHAPTER TWO – Mr Wormwood, The Great Car Dealer.



Matilda’s father was a second-hand car dealer. One day he tells Matilda and her brother about one of the tricks which he uses to help him sell more cars. What does he need sawdust for?

Mr Wormwood tells his children that second-hand cars, which have had their gears worn-out by their previous owners, can be bought very cheaply. They can then be sold for a large profit if sawdust is mixed with the oil as this will temporarily stop the gears from rattling.



In addition to cars with worn-out gears, Mr Wormwood also knows a way of making a large profit on cars which have done a lot of miles. What is this trick?

Mr Wormwood tells his children that you can’t change the milometer on modern cars, like you could on older models, but you can alter them as the milometer runs backwards whilst the car is in reverse. Rather than drive them backwards for hundreds of thousands of miles, however, Mr Wormwood disconnects the cable and uses a drill to trick the milometer into running backwards at an incredible speed.



What does Matilda think about the ‘trade secrets’ that her father uses to trick customers into buying his cars?

Matilda thinks that her father’s tricks are dishonest and that he is cheating people.



Dahl describes Mrs Wormwood’s physical appearance in some detail. She is a large woman who wore lots of makeup and had ‘platinum blond’ hair, ‘except where you could see the mousy-brown bits growing out from the roots’. What does Dahl mean by this?

Dahl means that Mrs Wormwood has bleached her hair a very light shade of blond. Her hair is naturally ‘mousy-brown’ and so if you look at the roots of her hair you can see her natural colour growing out.



Matilda finds herself feeling very angry at her parents and especially frustrated about being called ‘ignorant’ and stupid. That night, as Matilda lay in her bed, she made a decision. What was this?

Matilda decided that ‘every time her father or her mother was beastly to her, she would get her own back in some way or another’. As her father had upset her that evening, he would be first on the list!

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