About Television by Roald Dahl- Annotations

About Television by Roald Dahl- Annotations

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About the Poet Roald Dahl

Roald Dahl was a British novelist, short story writer, poet, screenwriter, and fighter pilot.

Born in Wales to Norwegian parents, Dahl served in the Royal Air Force during World War II, in which he became a flying ace and intelligence officer, rising to the rank of acting wing commander. He rose to prominence in the 1940s with works for both children and adults and became one of the world’s best-selling authors. He has been referred to as “one of the greatest storytellers for children of the 20th century”. Among his awards for contribution to literature, he received the World Fantasy Award for Life Achievement in 1983, and Children’s Author of the Year from the British Book Awards in 1990. In 2008 The Times placed Dahl 16th on its list of “The 50 greatest British writers since 1945”.

Dahl’s first published work, inspired by a meeting with C. S. Forester, was “A Piece of Cake” on 1 August 1942. His first children’s book was The Gremlins, published in 1943, about mischievous little creatures that were part of RAF folklore.  All the RAF pilots blamed the gremlins for all the problems with the aircraft. Dahl went on to create some of the best-loved children’s stories of the 20th century, such as Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, Matilda, James and the Giant Peach, The Witches, Fantastic Mr Fox, The BFG, The Twits and George’s Marvellous Medicine. Dahl also had a successful parallel career as the writer of macabre adult short stories, usually with a dark sense of humour and a surprise ending. The Mystery Writers of America presented Dahl with three Edgar Awards for his work. He died on 23 November 1990, at the age of 74 of a blood disease in Oxford, and was buried in the cemetery at St Peter and St Paul’s Church in Great Missenden, Buckinghamshire, England.

About the Poem Television

‘Television’ is one of Roald Dahl’s best-known poems. It is about the negative effects that television can have on young minds. It also offers the advice that children should read books instead of watching television. This poem appeals to young readers and older ones alike, for the amusing tone that it takes in approaching its subject.

Setting of the Poem

Roald Dahl seems to have entered into every contemporary British household as he’s writing this poem. Living as he did in the twentieth century, he saw the introduction of many, many new and innovative electronic products. The television was one of those products, and perhaps the most controversial one among them. Even now, the effects of watching television for long hours are discussed in certain circles with some amount of disapproval. Dahl is quite vocally one of that company. He also takes the opportunity to create a parallel landscape in which books abound, and are found everywhere within the house. Such a landscape, he is sure, will encourage children to read.

Annotations

Please note: N= noun, V=verb, Adj=Adjective, Adv=Adverb, P=preposition

Gaping (V): Watching with eyes wide open for a long time

Loll (V): Sit, lie or stand in a lazy, relaxed way

Slop (V): Laze around

Lounge about (V): To be idle

Hypnotised (V): Fascinated

Punch (V): Hit with fist

Tot (N): Child

Rots (N): Decays by the action of bacteria and fungi

Clutters (V): Covers or fills something with an untidy collection of things

Fantasy (N): A genre of imaginative fiction involving magic and adventure especially in a setting other than the real world

Rust (V): Forming a red or orange coating on the surface of iron when exposed to air and moisture

Gadzooks (N): An expression of surprise

Nursery (N): A room in a house for the special use of young children

Galore (Adj): In abundance

Gypsies (N): Groups of travelling people with dark skin and hair traditionally living by itinerant trade and fortune telling

Smugglers (N): A person who moves goods illegally into our out of a country

Muffled (Adj): Not loud sound because of being obstructed in some way

Oars (N): Poles with flat blade, used to row or steer a boat through water

Cannibals (N): People who eat the flesh of human beings

Rotter (N): A cruel, mean or unkind person

Rump (N): The hind part of the body of the mammal

Ridiculous (Adj): Deserving or inviting mockery

Nauseating (Adj): Causing a feeling of disgust

Foul (Adj): Offensive to the senses, especially through having a disgusting smell or taste or being dirty

Repulsive (Adj): Arousing intense distaste or disgust

Also you can follow the links below for detailed study of the poem-

Summary of Television by Roald Dahl

Critical Analysis of Television by Roald Dahl

Study guide on the go… Myeduz is an awesome resource of analysis for student of literature. If you study English Literature either in school or college this is a great for detailed poetry analysis

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