Matilda

by

Roald Dahl

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Lavender Character Analysis

Lavender is a girl in Matilda’s class at Crunchem Hall Primary School, and she soon becomes Matilda’s best friend. She’s a tiny girl with brown hair. Lavender greatly admires Matilda for the tricks Matilda played on her father, and she also admires Hortensia when Hortensia tells the girls about all the time she’s spent in the Chokey as punishment for playing tricks on Miss Trunchbull. More than anything, Lavender wants to do something that would impress her friends and make her seem just as crafty and cunning. So Lavender volunteers to prepare Miss Trunchbull’s water jug and glass—and Lavender puts a newt from her pond in the jug. Though Lavender doesn’t own up to her crime and lets Matilda take the fall for it, this isn’t framed as a bad thing. Indeed, it creates the situation where Matilda discovers her power.

Lavender Quotes in Matilda

The Matilda quotes below are all either spoken by Lavender or refer to Lavender. For each quote, you can also see the other characters and themes related to it (each theme is indicated by its own dot and icon, like this one:
Adults, Children, and Power Theme Icon
). Note: all page numbers and citation info for the quotes below refer to the Puffin Books edition of Matilda published in 2007.
Chapter 10 Quotes

Both Matilda and Lavender were enthralled. It was quite clear to them that they were at this moment standing in the presence of a master. Here was somebody who had brought the art of skullduggery to the highest point of perfection, somebody, moreover, who was willing to risk life and limb in pursuit of her calling.

Page Number: 108
Explanation and Analysis:
Chapter 11 Quotes

“He simply wouldn’t believe you.”

“Of course he would.”

“He wouldn’t,” Matilda said. “And the reason is obvious. Your story would sound too ridiculous to be believed. And that is the Trunchbull’s great secret.”

“What is?” Lavender asked.

Matilda said, “Never do anything by halves if you want to get away with it. Be outrageous. Go the whole hog. Make sure everything you do is so completely crazy it’s unbelievable. No parent is going to believe this pigtail story, not in a million years. Mine wouldn’t. They’d call me a liar.”

Related Characters: Matilda Wormwood (speaker), Lavender (speaker), Miss Trunchbull, Amanda Thripp
Page Number: 117
Explanation and Analysis:
Chapter 12 Quotes

Already Lavender’s scheming mind was going over the possibilities that this water-jug job had opened up for her. She longed to do something truly heroic. She admired the older girl Hortensia to distraction for the daring deeds she had performed in the school. She also admired Matilda who had sworn her to secrecy about the parrot job she had brought off at home, and also the great hair-oil switch which had bleached her father’s hair. It was her turn now to become a heroine if only she could come up with a brilliant plot.

Page Number: 136
Explanation and Analysis:
Get the entire Matilda LitChart as a printable PDF.
Matilda PDF

Lavender Character Timeline in Matilda

The timeline below shows where the character Lavender appears in Matilda. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Chapter 7. Miss Honey
Education and Opportunity Theme Icon
The Power of Fighting Injustice Theme Icon
...a spelling lesson. She asks if any students can spell “cat.” Matilda, a girl named Lavender, and a boy named Nigel put their hands up. Then, Miss Honey writes, “I have... (full context)
Chapter 10. Throwing the Hammer
Adults, Children, and Power Theme Icon
Family, Institutions, and Chosen Family Theme Icon
...to be too curious when their classmates do something different. Matilda’s new best friend is Lavender, who’s extremely tiny. The girls like each other because they each believe the other is... (full context)
Adults, Children, and Power Theme Icon
The Power of Fighting Injustice Theme Icon
...new students learn all manner of tales about Miss Trunchbull. One morning, when Matilda and Lavender are on the playground for morning break, a 10-year-old named Hortensia welcomes them and asks... (full context)
Adults, Children, and Power Theme Icon
Lavender wants to know what else Hortensia did to get time in the Chokey, but Hortensia... (full context)
Adults, Children, and Power Theme Icon
Family, Institutions, and Chosen Family Theme Icon
The Power of Fighting Injustice Theme Icon
Lavender and Matilda are in awe of Hortensia, who’s clearly a master and dedicated to her... (full context)
Adults, Children, and Power Theme Icon
Matilda and Lavender ask for another story, so Hortensia tells them about a boy named Julius Rottwinkle. He... (full context)
Chapter 11. Bruce Bogtrotter and the Cake
Family, Institutions, and Chosen Family Theme Icon
Lavender asks Matilda how the Trunchbull can get away with this; her father would be very... (full context)
Adults, Children, and Power Theme Icon
Family, Institutions, and Chosen Family Theme Icon
The Power of Fighting Injustice Theme Icon
Matilda and Lavender watch, fascinated, as Bruce eats three slices of cake. They’re not sure he can do... (full context)
Chapter 12. Lavender
Adults, Children, and Power Theme Icon
Family, Institutions, and Chosen Family Theme Icon
The Power of Fighting Injustice Theme Icon
...that Miss Trunchbull’s jug of water and glass are on the table when she arrives. Lavender volunteers. (full context)
Adults, Children, and Power Theme Icon
Family, Institutions, and Chosen Family Theme Icon
The Power of Fighting Injustice Theme Icon
Lavender’s mind is spinning. She wants to be heroic like Hortensia, and Matilda has already told... (full context)
Adults, Children, and Power Theme Icon
The Power of Fighting Injustice Theme Icon
By the time lunch rolls around, Lavender is so nervous she can’t eat. When the meal is over, she races to the... (full context)
Chapter 14. The First Miracle
Adults, Children, and Power Theme Icon
...plops into the glass too. The Trunchbull screams and leaps away from the squirming newt. Lavender joins the other children in shouting and suggests the thing bites. (full context)
Adults, Children, and Power Theme Icon
The Power of Fighting Injustice Theme Icon
...she tells Matilda to stand up. Matilda says she didn’t do it but finally stands. Lavender feels guilty, but she’s not going to admit she put the newt in the jug.... (full context)
Adults, Children, and Power Theme Icon
The Power of Fighting Injustice Theme Icon
...Trunchbull screams loudly and shoots up in her chair, swiping the newt off her chest. Lavender surreptitiously scoops the newt into her pencil box. (full context)