Roald Dahl’s beloved children’s book Matilda just celebrated 30 years of publication, and to commemorate the occasion, a statue has been erected in Buckinghamshire, showing the villain the young Matilda Wormwood would be facing today.
As reported by the BBC, the statue features Matilda staring down (although up at) U.S. President Donald Trump, in a modern-day “re-imagining” of the schoolgirl’s plight to fight for what is right and fair. In the 1988 book, it was the evil headmistress, Miss Trunchbull, that the little girl fought against.
The statue has been temporarily erected in the town of Great Missenden, where Dahl lived for 36 years, in a field located right front of the public library. That same library was also the inspiration for the library where the book character is reading classic literature by the tender age of 4. The depiction will be there for a number of weeks.
According to the Roald Dahl Story Company, the decision to give the heroine Trump as the modern-day nemesis to fight against was the result of the unpopular U.S. president topping a public poll conducted in the area. Other top choices were U.K. Prime Minister Theresa May, who came in second, and controversial television personality Piers Morgan rounded out the top three.
A statue of Donald Trump being stared at by Roald Dahl character Matilda has been revealed near the author's former home. She looks defiant with hands on hips in the face of the US president. #HeartNews pic.twitter.com/j142hAyJGR
— Heart London News (@HeartLondonNews) October 1, 2018
Matilda has been placed standing on top of a pile of books, including titles such as Moby Dick and Great Expectations. Trump can be seen standing opposite her, seemingly balling his fists as he screams down to her. In the meantime, a young Matilda is clearly not intimidated by the formidable figure, defiantly standing with her hands on her hips with a raised chin as she stares back up at him.
Bernie Hall, from The Roald Dahl Story Company, made a statement about the relevance of the statue 30 years after the release of the book.
“Matilda demonstrates that it’s possible for anyone, no matter how small and powerless they feel, to defeat the Trunchbulls in their own lives — a message that feels even more relevant today than it did 30 years ago. What’s more, asking the public to reimagine Matilda 30 years on and finding that she could be a UN ambassador, knighted by the Queen and still using her powers of telekinesis shows just how strongly Roald Dahl’s tiny heroine continues to resonate in our hearts and minds.”
Sir Quentin Blake has also gotten involved in the 30th anniversary celebration by drawing eight images of Matilda in a bid to imagine what she would be like now that she is in her 30s.
Author Roald Dahl passed away in 1990 at the age of 74. Among his other beloved works are Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, The BFG, The Witches, and James and the Giant Peach. He also penned two autobiographical works, Boy: Tales of Childhood and Going Solo.