Matilda: Overcoming Adversity

The book, then movie Matilda is opening on Broadway this month. Time (and critics and audiences) will tell if the musical is a hit or a flop (as unfortunately many new musicals are). But one thing’s for certain — Matilda has a message that’s timeless. It’s the story of an underdog, someone who faces adversity and abuse from those closest to her, who manages to persevere. We’ve all faced obstacles (some in the form of people!) in our lives. So, we can resonate with Matilda’s story. Talk with young adults about a time in their own lives when they’ve been challenged by the circumstances or people around them:

  • What is the biggest adversity you’ve faced in life? How did you deal with it?
  • A sweet, brilliant young girl, Matilda must deal with a nasty principal and parents who neglect her. According to Matthew 5: 38-42, Jesus tells us to love our enemies no matter how badly they treat us. How can we use this teaching in our lives today? Who are your enemies?
  • Matilda becomes very close with her teacher, Miss Honey, who is the polar opposite of her parents and principal. Think of someone who you consider to be a mentor. How has this person helped you to grow and develop and cultivate your intelligence? Why is this person such a great influence on your life?