George’s Marvelous Medicine

by Roald Dahl

Not as much to say about this one.

Another nasty cranky antagonist. Grandma also disappears into nothing.

I thought it was…odd…that George couldn’t use the human medicine in the cabinet, but the animal medicine was okay! Also, he doesn’t want to kill Grandma but it’s okay to use paint gloss? That’s got to be poisonous for people, right?

In contrast to Muggle-Wump, George wasn’t clever so much as inventive. Here, the story was more about the marvelous results of the medicine he created.

I will say that this features one of the more ominous allusions to magic. At least in reference to Grandma. This made me think:

  • contrast to the nameless boy narrator from The Witches and his grandmother
  • dangerous magic chill is from old nasty female vs the magic George touches through his medicine (described as marvelous)

As he’s boiling the medicine, George even sings what sounds very much like a spell or incantation.

So the antagonist is still nasty, but there’s less retribution because

  1. George doesn’t want to kill his own grandma no matter how mean she is (because she is his grandmother, it begs the question – if she may have had magic, could George have inherited it from her?)
  2. Grandma, while a grouch and cruel, doesn’t seem as terrible as the Twits (to me)

What I remember best about this one is George going around mixing up the medicine and the brown paint. And then the effects on the chickens, especially via the visuals.


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