Roald Dahl was an extraordinary man. He lived an amazing yet triadic life. This life influence and inspired him to be the terrific author that he was. He was the type of man who could have let life just swallow him up, but he was stronger than that. He used each experience in his life and made it count for something. His writing served as an escape to many of his problems. Because of this talent many people especially children have been greatly influenced.
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Roald Dahl was born on September 13, 1916 in Llandoff, South Wales. His childhood was full of sorrow and loss. He father, Harold, died when Roald was only three years old. In that same year his sister Astri died as well. Roald was left with his mother, Sophie who also cared for two step children and her own four which included Roald. Roald was Sophie’s only son. As a young child he enjoyed stories and books. He had a very creative imagination and would entertain all of his sisters with his stories about trolls and other things. As for schooling, Roald attended Llandoff Cathedral School between the ages seven and nine. All that seems to recoloect about this time was that he would always take trips to the sweet shop for his constant craving for chocolte and other candy. At age nine he arrived to St. Peters Prep School in Weston-Super Mave. This was a very traumatizing time for Roald. He suffered from a bad case of homesickness. He remembers having to deal with a mean headmistress type of woman. At age thirteen, Dahl began at Rempton School. He was involved with a few athletic activities but he stilled appeared to be unhappy. The only positive thing he could remember about Rempton was that it was very close to one of England’s best chocolate factories. Then, when he turned eighteen he joined the Public Schools Exploring Society’s Expedition to Newfoundland. At this time he was working at Shell Oil as a salesman. At age twenty-three he signed up with the Royal Air force in Nairobi where he was accepted as a pilot officer. During this time he had experienced many close call and injuries. When he arrived back home in 1942 he ran into C.S. Forester. He was the author of Captain Hornblower. Forester was interested in speaking with Dahl about his experience at war. He took Dahl out for lunch and interviewed him. He was so impressed by Dahl’s words that when he published "Shot Down Over Libya", he didn’t even change Dahl’s words. This is when Roald Dahl’s career began.
Roald Dahl wrote two autobiographies, seventeen children’s books, two novels, three poetry books, twenty-six short stories, eight screenplays, and six miscellaneous books. His two autobiographies included, Boys-Tales of Childhood and Going Solo. His children’s books consisted of; The BFG, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, Charlie and the Great Glass Elevator, Danny, the Champion of the World, The Enormous Crocodile, Esio Trot, Fantastic Mr. Fox, George’s Marvelous Medicine, The Giraffe and the Pelly and Me, The Gremlins, James and the Giant Peach, The Magic Finger, The MinPins Matilda, The Twits, The Vicar of Nibbleswicke, and The Witches. Each one of these stories was inspired by something that occurred in Dahl’s life. For example, when he attended Llandoff Cathedral School he always remembered the sweet store he used to go to. He always found happiness in candy and chocolate. Also when he was nine years old and he attended Rempton he would always go to the famous chocolate factory close by. He loved all the different kinds of candy and chocolates they had. Both of these instances are what created the story of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. Then there was the time when he attended St. Peters Prep School and he had a headmistress who he feared, which is where he got the idea of "The Trunchbull" in the book Matilda. In his later years during his time in the Royal Air Force, he was inspired to right his autobiography, Going Solo. All of these experiences influenced his wonderful pieces of work. His two novels were My Uncle Oswald and Sometime Never. Dahl’s poetry included; Dirty Beasts, Revolting Rhymes, and Rhyme Stew. He had also had so many terrific short stories for children. Some of them were; A, Sweet Mystery of Life, The Best of Roald Dahl, Kiss Kiss, The Umbrella Man and Other Stories, Over to You, and so many more.
Throughout all this time of writing admired stories and books, Dahl’s life continued to experience tragedy and loss. He married actress Patricia Neal on July 2nd of 1953. They had five children together. Unfortunately his bad luck of loss was passed down to his own family. Their oldest daughter, Olivia died of a bad case of the measles. Then their four-month-old son, Theo was brain damaged after a bad road accident. When you think that he has experienced enough sadness it gets worse. His love, Patricia, got severely ill and was having a serious streak of strokes. She was pregnant at the time and he knew that the chance of losing her was very large. He decided to take serious action to help her. He refused to let her leave him. During this heartache Dahl’s mother dies on November 17. He then gets his neighbors on a program to keep Pat motivated and alive. His plan worked and she and the baby survived. It was a breakthrough for Roald. As all these events were happening he continues to publish books after book. It was his way of release. Although he had gone through so much with Pat they eventually got divorced. He then married Felicity Crossland. A few years passed and he died. Roald Dahl died of a rare blood disorder on November 23, 1990 at age 74.
Roald Dahl was and still is greatly admired, especially by children. He has a very unique approach to children. He gets children to use their imaginations. He also uses realistic situations that kids may relate to. For example, in Matilda he had a young girl who has parents that didn’t pay much attention to her or display any love at all. She had a teacher, Ms. Honey, who made her feel loved and appreciated. Then Dahl brings in the creativity and imagination when he gives Matilda magical powers. She uses these powers and gets back the evil Ms. Truchbull (the evil headmistress) and all the other people that make her feel bad. Dahl definitely hits all the main points of a good book. He has humor, realistic scenarios, imagination, creativity, love, friendship, and suspense. Many of his books have these characteristics about them. These things are what make his books so fun for children to read. You will find yourself laughing, crying, furious; it’s a great thing when an author can really get his readers to feel emotions while reading.
Roald Dahl was a very unique admirable man. Although he is not here today, his words will be read forever. He life was full of pain and sorrow. But, he found his peace in writing. He wrote novels for adults, poems, miscellaneous books, and children’s books and novels that are still appreciated to this very day. All of his experiences in life served as inspirations for his pieces. He took characters from his own personal relationships and placed then into the story lines of his own books. Everything he did had a special meaning to him. He has touched many people out there and should serve as a good example. As bad as things may get in life one must continue to live and find that on thing that will give you peace of mind.
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