Criticism and Analysis

This is a collection of scholarly essays and analysis about Roald Dahl. If you know of one that’s not listed here, please email me!


  • De-constructing Dahl 
    • Written by Laura Viñas Valle
    • Description: “This is the first single-authored monograph on Roald Dahl since 1994… In the light of sociocultural constructivist theory, [it] focuses on the critical context, texts and paratexts that make up the packaging of Dahl. It offers the first thorough overview of the criticism and the language employed to discuss Dahl since the 1970s, the difficulties that using such language entails, and how it still permeates current criticism.”
  • L’ univers de Roald Dahl [Roald Dahl’s universe]
    • Edited by Lucile Trunel
    • Description: “To mark the 90th anniversary of his birth, a group of French children’s books specialists proposed to explore the literary universe of Roald Dahl… The contributions collected in this volume, prefaced by Dahl’s wife, Felicity, approach the work of the creator of the Gremlins and many other children’s book heroes from various angles.”
  • Roald Dahl (New Casebooks)
    • Edited by Ann Alston and Catherine Butler
    • Description: “This volume, the first collection of academic essays ever to be devoted to Dahl’s work, brings together a team of well-known scholars of children’s literature to explore the man, his books for children, and his complex attitudes towards various key subjects. Including essays on education, crime, Dahl’s humour, his long-term collaboration with the artist Quentin Blake, and film adaptations, this fascinating collection offers a unique insight into the writer and his world.”
  • Roald Dahl (Twayne’s English Authors Series)
    • Written by Mark I. West
    • Description: Offers criticism and interpretation.
  • Roald Dahl: The Master Of Darkness And Light
    • Written by J. L. Gargett
    • Description: “Offering three, meticulously researched essays, this collection extends the sphere of Dahl studies. The first essay discusses The BFG and Matilda in some detail, asserting that Dahl’s work for children deals in disturbing ideas. The second essay addresses Dahl’s use of fear and humour in The Minpins. The final essay offers the first, comprehensive examination of Dahl’s treatment of death, investigating how Dahl deals with death in fifty-eight short stories published between 1944 and 1988…”
  • Roald Dahl and Philosophy: A Little Nonsense Now and Then 
    • Edited by Jacob M. Held
    • Description: “Editor Jacob M. Held has collected the insights of today’s leading philosophers into the significances, messages, and greater truths at which Dahl’s rhythmic writing winks, revealing a whole new way to appreciate the creation of a man and mind to which readers of all ages are still drawn.”
  • Roald Dahl’s Marvellous Medicine
    • Written by Tom Solomon
    • Description: “…Taking examples from Dahl’s life, and illustrated with excerpts from his writing, the book uses Dahl’s medical interactions as a starting point to explore some extraordinary areas of medical science… The book is also peppered with anecdotes from Dahl’s late night hospital discussions with Solomon, which give new insights into this remarkable man’s thinking as his life came to an end.”
  • Roald Dahl: Wales of the Unexpected
    • Edited by Damian Walford Davies
    • Description: “… explores the complex ways in which Roald Dahl engages with Wales—the country of his birth and early life—throughout his work.”

Essays and Papers



Boy – Tales of Childhood

Charlie and the Chocolate Factory

James and the Giant Peach



The Twits

The Witches

The Wonderful Story of Henry Sugar and Six More

“Genesis and Catastrophe”

“Georgy Porgy”

“Lamb to the Slaughter”

“The Landlady”

“Mrs. Bixby and the Colonel’s Coat”



“The Mildenhall Treasure”

“The Way Up to Heaven”

“William and Mary”

Charlie and the Chocolate Factory (movie)

Matilda (musical)