Summary of “Tales of Childhood”

Tales of Childhood
Book Name : Blossom English Textbook For Class VIII Second Language
Subject : English
Class : 8th (Madhyamik/WB)
Publisher : Prof. Nabanita Chatterjee
Chapter Name : Tales of Childhood (10th chapter)

About the Author

Roald Dahl (1916-1990) was a British author known for his popular books for both children and adults. He achieved global fame with classics like “Charlie and the Chocolate Factory” and “Matilda.” Dahl’s diverse talents also led him to serve as a fighter pilot and screenwriter. This text is from his autobiography, “Boy: Tales of Childhood.”

(55 words)

Introduction to the Story

In this autobiographical snippet, the author, Roald Dahl, shares a glimpse of his early life in Cardiff, Wales. Born to a Norwegian father and faced with family tragedy at a young age, his narrative begins with vivid memories of childhood adventures, school days, and the loss of loved ones.

(50 words)

Summary of the Story

Tales of Childhood

This is a story about Roald Dahl’s early life. His father, Harold Dahl, was Norwegian and worked as a shipbroker. They lived in a big house near Cardiff, Wales, with many animals and staff. When Roald was two, they moved there, and he remembers the grand house and the animals. Tragedy struck when Roald was three; his favourite sister, Astri, died from appendicitis, and shortly after, his father died from pneumonia. Roald’s mother had to care for five children alone, so they moved to a smaller house in Llandaff.

When Roald was six, he attended Elmtree House, a kindergarten. He doesn’t remember much about the school, but he remembers the thrilling tricycle rides to school with his sister. These rides were exciting, and they’d lean on two wheels when turning corners. This was in a time when cars were rare, and kids could safely ride their tricycles on the road. These are Roald Dahl’s early memories, full of both joy and sadness.

(160 words)

Characters of the Story

Harold Dahl (Father): Roald’s father, a Norwegian, became a successful shipbroker despite losing an arm at 14. He provided for his family and established their home in Wales. His deep love for Roald’s sister, Astri, was evident, but he tragically succumbed to pneumonia in 1920.

Sofie Magdalene Hesselberg (Mother): Roald’s mother, who met Harold in 1911 and married him. She faced immense challenges, losing her daughter, Astri, and her husband in quick succession. Despite the hardship, she cared for her five children and managed the family.

Astri (Sister): Roald’s beloved sister, who passed away from appendicitis at the age of seven in 1920. Her loss deeply affected both her father and the family. She held a special place in her father’s heart.

Mrs. Corfield and Miss Tucker (Kindergarten Teachers): The kind and smiling sisters who ran Elmtree House, the kindergarten Roald attended. He has blurred memories of his time there but vividly recalls the exciting tricycle journeys to school with his elder sister.

Theme of the Story

The story’s central theme is about a young boy’s early life, marked by family, love, and loss. Roald Dahl’s memories highlight the importance of family bonds, the impact of tragedy, and the simplicity of childhood joys. It’s a tale of resilience, growing up, and cherishing the moments that shape one’s life.

(50 words)

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