|“||Much too good for children!||”|
Miss Agatha Trunchbull is the primary antagonist in the novel Matilda and of its 1996 film adaptation. Ms. Trunchbull is depicted as a large woman who wears her hair in a tight, unforgiving bun. Her outfit is a bottle-green tight pantsuit adorned with a black belt with a silver buckle.
She is a harsh, arrogant, psychopathic, extremely cruel educator and tyrant who terrorizes children, and states that she was glad that she was never a child or had fun.
She makes a weekly visit to every classroom, and tends to take over, but mostly Miss Honey's, probably due to her being her niece.
Agatha Trunchbull was the step-aunt of Jennifer Honey. After her step-sister died, Trunchbull was called in to look after her step-niece while Jennifer's father Magnus Honey was away at work, though she was unknown to her step-brother-in-law actually cruel to his daughter behind his back. When Jennifer was five, her father died. Many believe the cause was a suicide, though others think Trunchbull murdered him so that she could gain his house and money.
Several years later, Miss Trunchbull became principal of Crunchem Hall. This was also the school where her niece taught at. Her idea of detention was to put children into a horrific torture device known as The Chokey, a tall narrow cupboard in a dripping pipe with jagged edges where the walls have broken glass and nails sticking out, like an iron maiden. She became strict on rules; for instance she did not allow girls to have pigtails. She also does not like boys with long hair. She once threw a girl named Amanda Thripp over the fence by her pigtails, forced a boy named Bruce Bogtrotter to eat a whole 18-inch cake after stating that he stole her own personal cake and once put a boy into a terrible fatal state by throwing him out a fifth storey window due to the fact that he was eating Liquorice Allsorts while she was talking to his class.
After she was sold a purposely faulty car by shoddy car seller Harry Wormwood, Miss Trunchbull took out her anger on his daughter Matilda by locking her in The Chokey. Matilda later retaliated by unknowingly causing a Newt to fly onto her and leaving her in a state of panic. Trunchbull was later driven out of the school the next day while in Miss Honey's class after she was apparently haunted by Magnus Honey's ghost, which was actually Matilda using her telekinetic powers, demanding that the Trunchbull hand over Miss Honey's house and inheritance from her father and the Trunchbull was never seen again.
In the 1996 film, her violence towards children was somewhat mitigated, though she can be considered to be murderous towards adults, as she murdered Miss Honey's father and later threatened to kill Matilda's father for selling her a defective car.
Miss Trunchbull moved in with Dr. Honey to help him take care of Miss Honey when she was two years old, after Mrs. Honey died.
A clever young girl, whom she considers as a liar and a scoundrel. She has also accused her of things that she did not do. Miss Trunchbull dislikes the girl for two main reasons; firstly that she is too talkative and smart for Miss Trunchbull's liking and secondly that Matilda's father sold Truchbull a faulty and unreliable car. These result in Matilda getting sent to the Chokey.
Miss Trunchbull's niece (her step-sister's daughter). When she took over the mansion after Miss Honey became an orphan, Miss Trunchbull was considered to be very mean and would treat children very badly. She has also been shown to take over her class often, and put up rather insulting signs such as, "If you are having fun, you are not learning". It is mentioned in the film that, when Miss Honey was seven years old, Trunchbull broke Miss Honey's arm. In the musical, Miss Honey is born shortly before her mother dies in a Circus Accident.
Jennifer Honey's mother Edit
The deceased sister of Agatha Trunchbull. Miss Honey doesn't remember her mother.
The father of Miss Honey and Miss Trunchbull's late brother in law who invited her to live with him. In the movie, out of all Miss. Trunchbull's victims, he is the man in whom she actually killed instead of just injuring him. In the book, it is theorised that Dr. Honey killed himself. In the musical, Dr. Honey and his wife are Circus performers and Miss Trunchbull is their manager.
Harry Wormwood Edit
A used car salesman and owner of Wormwood Motors. Agatha had asked him for an inexpensive and reliable car. She later realized that he cheated her after the car she bought started breaking down, and punished Matilda by locking her in the Chokey until Miss Honey rescued her. When the transmission started going haywire, she ran her car back home, and then ran back into her mansion in a flash, and then phoned him and threatened to sue him and burn down his showroom, and/or kill him. Like Mr. Wormwood, she states that adults are always right and children are always wrong.
Agatha Trunchbull is malicious, pompous, wicked, haughty, dangerous, brutal, egoistical, sadistic, psychopathic, and dumb. Besides a passionate hate for children, she is also power-crazed and greedy, trying to maintain a position of power in any way she can. She is also an abusive sadist, who sees violence as the best way when it comes to disciplining children, and keeps a vicious, makeshift torture chamber (which she calls The Chokey) in her office.
In the film, she shows incredible degrees of hyper-paranoia, as she is terrified when Matilda raids her house and also mortified when she sees the portrait of Magnus, a man she probably murdered to inherit the estate, takes the place of her own portrait over the fireplace.
Agatha is something of a ruthless disciplinarian who implies absurdly strict rules in her school, which include the banning of pigtails. In the film, the Trunchbull displays something of a God complex, viewing herself as a woman in absolute power (and believing that she has rights over everyone and everything). However, it is revealed that, behind her "cruel woman" facade, Agatha is shown, deep down, to be a very fearful person, who is terrified of ghosts and the supernatural. In the film, she is also shown to be superstitious; this is shown in one scene when Miss Honey and Matilda see Agatha getting scared of a black cat, and when Matilda asks about Agatha being scared of cats, Miss Honey replies, "Black cats. She's very superstitious." Even though she is a strict disciplinarian, she says pissworm to a child's face, so she has no trouble subjecting her students to foul and inappropriate language, and instead of queueing, she orders her students to run into the school in a disorganized, stampeding croud. Despite her athletic prowess, she also loves to stuff her face with chocolates from a box and snacks on massive portions of chocolate cake.
Behind the Scenes Edit
Her fate in the film differs from the book in that, in the book, she was thrown into permanent hysteria by Matilda's cunning revenge and was never seen again. It is more climatic in the film; whilst Matilda was using the chalk to impersonate Miss Honey's father threatening the Trunchbull from beyond the grave, she made the windows rattle and the other objects act peculiarly in the room, succeeding in intimidating the Trunchbull.
The Trunchbull was fatally traumatized by the ordeal and briefly fainted. When she awakened, she lost her sanity completely, ran amok through the school, and ambushed a few of Matilda's classmates, each time thwarted by Matilda's telekinetic powers. Then the entire faculty of school children, including Bruce Bogtrotter, bombarded her with objects such as books, toys and food, most of which opened when they landed on her. The Trunchbull was pursued savagely out of the school, where she retreated into her car and hurtled out of the school, still chased by the angry mob of school children.