What is the effect of the bittersweet tone of the story's finale?
While the story ends with the defeat of all the English witches being destroyed and the boy and his grandmother living together happily, the ending of the story is melancholy. The grandmother reminds the readers that many witches still exist in the world and comments on the reduced life expectancy of the boy due to his physical transformation into a rat. By making the ending bittersweet, Dahl suggests that evil is a powerful force. While the heroes are successful in defeating one evil, the existence of further conflict enforces the danger that continues to threaten society.
What is one major characteristic in Dahl's creation of villains?
The witches are portrayed to be creatures that make it their sole purpose to destroy children, a trait that is shared by nearly all of Dahl's villains. As his books are written for children, it is understandable why Dahl creates villains not only for characters in the text but also for readers.
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