To align with a woke agenda, Roald Dahl’s books have had passages rewritten extensively by their publisher.
In an article for The Telegraph Ed Cumming, Genevieve Holl Allen, and Benedict Smith identified hundreds of changes made to Dahl’s beloved children’s books. Some of these changes were so drastic that they have rendered the original works unrecognizable.
Roald Dahl’s wonderful words can take you to other worlds and introduce your to some of the most fascinating characters. This book was written over a long time ago. We review it regularly to ensure it can be enjoyed by all. Puffin Books, publisher, says that the changes are regularly made to the “wonderful works”. In other words, the Ministry of Truth (Minitrue) is constantly rewriting records and books to fit the narrative of George Orwell’s Nineteen Eighty-Four.
Puffin added, “Words matter”, for further clarification.
Dahl was born in Wales in 1916 to Norwegian parents. He has been accused of harboring anti-Semitic sentiments.
He bravely served as a Royal Air Force (RAF), fighter pilot against the Axis forces during the Second World War. However, he took part in a deadly dogfight over Athens with the Luftwaffe and survived a fiery crash on the North African desert.
Puffin, a German-owned Penguin Random House imprint, has not taken aim against inappropriate political commentary or some once-normal words now considered to be racially sensitive in Dahl’s books. Instead, it has taken an “axe” or grafting tool to passages whose only crime, among other high crimes, is not actively encouraging a feminist agenda, or suggesting that obesity might not be a good trait.
“Even though she is working in a supermarket cashier or typing letters for businessmen,” is rewritten from The Witches into “Even when she is working at a top scientist or running her own business.” This is despite the fact that female secretaries and cashiers are often compared to male bosses.
Paleness is also controversial. References to being “White as paper”, “White in the face”, and “turning to white” are removed or changed to avoid using the word “white”. A simple description of Fantastic Mister Fox’s machines as “black” is expelled.
Numerous references to fatness and ugliness have been removed. Mrs Twit is no longer “ugly”, and “fat little mouse” becomes “little mouse”. There are also no references to females as “pretty”.
References to “Mrs Silver” being “Mrs Hoppy”, are also gone. This means that the woman doesn’t have to adopt her husbands surname.
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Many changes are classics in Justin Trudeau-style wokecensoriousness. “Cloud-Men” becoming “Cloud-People”, the “twice-the height of ordinary men” becoming the “average height of a person”, references about “mothers” and fathers becoming references to the “parents”, the “ladies, gentlemen” becoming the “folks”, etc.
It appears that there was an overzealous approach in censoring expressions that might be connected, however tenuously to mental health. Various remarks about this or another person or situation being “mad”, or “dotty,” ended up on the cutting table.
Other changes are counterproductive and, in fact, seem to be counterproductive. A passage from The Witches that explicitly doesn’t sexist reads “I don’t wish to speak poorly about women.” For example, “Most women are beautiful” was purged.
Some passages were edited to aid unpersoning writers other that Dahl, now considered undesirables. Matilda, the protagonist in Matilda’s story, is no longer believed to be a voracious reader of Heart of Darkness author Joseph Conrad or British imperialist poet Rudyard Kipling but of Jane Austen and John Steinbeck.
The Telegraph reports that Dahl approved some politically correct changes to the work of his family during his lifetime. However, Charlie’s Oompa Loopas and Charlie’s Chocolate Factory were originally pygmies “from the deepest and most darkest part” of the African jungle.
The Telegraph also noted that the Dahl estate held the rights to Dahl’s books until their sale to Netflix in 2021. Netflix now has control over Dahl’s books and any adaptations. These latest changes to Dahl’s books are believed to have occurred at least one year before the Netflix deal.