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Trump has a new, formidable detractor: Roald Dahl's famous telekinetic book-lover, Matilda

Trump has a new, formidable detractor: Roald Dahl's famous telekinetic book-lover, Matilda

In Roald Dahl’s Matilda, a young girl brings down an autocratic, belligerent school principal who has a penchant for swinging young girls around by the pigtails. But if Matilda stepped into our current reality, which figure would she set her sights on next?   

Donald Trump, according to the British public. The question was asked in a poll conducted by the Roald Dahl Story Company in celebration of the 30th anniversary of the book.

Matilda and Trump’s confrontation has been immortalised with a statue outside Dahl’s former home in London. A strident young girl stands, hands on hips, coolly meeting the gaze of a cartoonish incarnation of the US president.

‘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,’ said the Story Company.

Trump won out over UK Prime Minister Theresa May and TV presenter Piers Morgan. The survey also revealed that respondents believe Matilda would most likely be friends with Emma Watson, who played Hermione in the Harry Potter films and hosts a feminist book club called Our Shared Shelf.  

The story of Matilda has attracted new fans over the past few years as a musical based on the book – with lyrics by Australia’s own Tim Minchin – tours the world.

See also: Matilda 30 years on