Roald Dahl has created quite the Twitter stir over ‘Twits’

Roald Dahl famed author of the children’s novels, Charlie and the Chocolate FactoryJames and The Giant Peach, and Matilda passed away back in 1990. But that hasn’t stopped fans and critics from pitting against each other on Twitter over a quote from one of his books. 

A heated discourse has arisen on Twitter over one of Roald Dhal’s quotes from The Twits, with some standing by it and calling it ‘beautiful’ with others voicing it as ‘bad advice’ and ‘questionable’.

The quote from the 1980’s book shines a light on Dahl’s take on thoughts, in particular how your thoughts determine what you look like. Hence, a person with ugly thoughts will grow to become ugly, and a person with good thoughts will be radiant and glow like the Sun.

the twits

The quote from the book reads as follows:

“If a person has ugly thoughts, it begins to show on the face. And when that person has ugly thoughts every day, every week, every year, the face gets uglier and uglier until it gets so ugly that you can hardly look at it.

“A person who has good thoughts cannot ever be ugly. You can have a wonky nose and a crooked mouth and a double chin and stick-out teeth but if you have good thoughts they will shine out of your face like sunbeams and you will always look lovely.”

Sure, it’s a simple point of view, but taken to extremes, you can pick apart anything if you want to. And haters will hate. Especially Dahl’s, who he collected quite a few of following the claims of antisemitism, in particular, this comment that he made 1983 when Dahl told Britain’s New Statesman magazine that “there is a trait in the Jewish character that does provoke animosity. … Even a stinker like Hitler didn’t just pick on them for no reason.” of which his family had belatedly and passionately apologized for. 

Whilst most opinions can’t step away from calling him antisemitic, there are many who see the validity in his quote, and in many ways, this is what I see reflected on Twitter, the simple message of the power of positive thinking. 

That aside, judging someone for the way that they look is probably not a life lesson you want to teach your kids, and it is this sentiment that seems to be at the heart of the argument. But there is something in it all the same, and the question begs, does how you feel on the inside, invariably reflect how you look on the outside?  It’s up for debate for sure, but that’s what’s so great about Roald Dahl, he was always open to starting a conversation.