Matilda doesn’t follow her classmates. She has to tell someone about what happened—and Miss Honey happens to be a “wise and sympathetic grown-up.” As soon as Matilda asks to speak with Miss Honey, Miss Honey perks up. First, Matilda asks if Miss Trunchbull is really going to expel her. Miss Honey assures Matilda she won’t. Then, Matilda asks Miss Honey if the teacher saw the glass fall. Matilda says she didn’t touch it, but she is responsible. Miss Honey is confused, as Matilda says that she made the glass tip over with some odd power in her eyes. Miss Honey figures Matilda is telling a tale and kindly asks Matilda if she’d do it again.
Matilda craves a connection with an adult who will care about her and take her seriously. Miss Honey fits this bill, as she’s intent on getting Matilda as much education as possible under the circumstances. Even though Miss Honey doesn’t believe Matilda at this point, to her credit, she doesn’t brush Matilda off. In this way, Miss Honey sets an example for how adults should interact with children, per the novel. Even if what a kid has to say doesn’t make sense, it’s still important to listen and take their concerns seriously.
Miss Honey puts the empty water glass upright and Matilda says she’ll try to do it again; it might take a minute. Matilda stares hard at the glass and, in her mind, she yells at it to tip over. She can feel the electricity gathering and the power reach out of her eyes like little hands. The glass wobbles and then tips over. Miss Honey’s jaw drops, and she leans away.
Of course, within the world of the novel, Matilda’s power is real—and Miss Honey gets concrete proof that she was right to humor Matilda and ask for a demonstration. Matilda doesn’t seem nearly as shocked by all of this as Miss Honey, which could mean that Matilda has some quality (even if that’s just youth, innocence, and hopefulness) that Miss Honey doesn’t.
Matilda’s face is white, trembling, and her eyes are unseeing—and then Matilda seems to come to. Miss Honey murmurs that Matilda seemed far away, and Matilda says she was. She was “flying past the stars on silver wings.” Miss Honey says this shouldn’t be possible and invites Matilda for tea at her cottage. When Matilda asks, Miss Honey promises to keep this a secret.
Tapping into her power makes Matilda feel like she’s physically taller than everyone else—she’s in the stars. This symbolizes how powerful Matilda’s strange power really makes her. She still looks like an innocent, unassuming little girl—but she can do amazing things.