What in the actual heck is this, and why is it even a thing?!?
Puffin Books has decided to scrub certain words from the works of Roald Dahl, and people are outraged.
Okay, I get that there are offensive words. And, who am I to judge what those words are?
But, I’m not okay with censorship, and that is straight up what this feels like.
I grew up on the works of Roald Dahl — stories like Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, The BFG, Matilda, and James and the Giant Peach.
Roald Dahl is wrapped up in some of my best childhood memories, and his stories are part of what sparked my love of reading and writing.
While some of the words might now be considered offensive for a more woke audience, I can’t even fathom changing the stories.
Especially since Mr. Dahl passed away in 1990, and he can’t defend his works.
Hey, one of the words they changed in his stories is “Fat.”
I could totally take offense as a fluffy chick, but I’m totally okay with it.
In Dahl’s story Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, the chocolate loving Augustus Gloop is no longer called “fat,” but Penguin changed his description to “enormous.”
Other words they took the liberty of changing in Dahls’ stories include “ugly,” “crazy,” and even “female.”
The wonderful words of Roald Dahl can transport you to different worlds and introduce you to the most marvelous characters. This book was written many years ago, and so we regularly review the language to ensure that it can continue to be enjoyed by all today.Penguin Books
Not only that, Penguin Books decided to make the Oompa Loompas in Charlie and the Chocolate Factory gender neutral.
When Roald Dahl wrote the story, the Oompa Loompas were called “small men,” but are now known as “small people.”
Was this a necessary change to the story? It might be more apt for our culture, but it changes the words as written by Dahl.
As for James and the Giant Peach, there is a line that read, “Aunt Sponge was terrifically fat / And tremendously flabby at that,” and another that read “Aunt Spiker was thin as a wire / And dry as a bone, only drier.”
The publisher completely changed the words.
The story now reads, “Aunt Sponge was a nasty old brute / And deserved to be squashed by the fruit,” and, “Aunt Spiker was much of the same / And deserves half of the blame.”
Our guiding principle throughout has been to maintain the storylines, characters, and the irreverence and sharp-edged spirit of the original text. Any changes made have been small and carefully considered.The Roald Dahl Story Company
Gender references have also been updated as to not offend women or the transgender community.
In the story The Witches, the part that talks about witches being bald beneath their wigs now has a disclaimer: “There are plenty of other reasons why women might wear wigs and there is certainly nothing wrong with that.”
What do you think of these changes to the works of Roald Dahl?