The Big Friendly Giant
How would you feel if a giant hand reached into your bedroom window and snatched you away?
That’s just what happens to Sophie in Roald Dahl’s book The BFG.
The BFG is a Big Friendly Giant who is blowing good dreams into the windows of sleeping boys and girls. After the BFG kidsnatches Sophies straight from her orphanage and takes her with him to Giant Country they embark on an exciting adventure as they got to know each other. Let’s start our own adventure as we get to know more about the BFG, the other giants in Giant Country and many more adventures in Roahl Dahl’s stories.
The story is about a young orphaned girl named Sophie, living in a girl’s orphanage run by the cantankerous and abusive Mrs. Clonkers. One night, Sophie sees a large, cloaked person blowing something via a trumpet-like object into a bedroom window down the street. She is discovered by the mysterious person, who carries her to his homeland of Giant Country.
There, he identifies himself as the Big Friendly Giant (‘BFG’), who nightly blows bottled dreams into the bedrooms of children, and explains the other type of giants that eat humans, mostly children. Because the BFG refuses to eat people or steal food from humans, he subsists on a foul-tasting vegetable known as a snozzcumber. It’s like a cucumber with black strips.
Sophie and the BFG quickly become friends; but Sophie is soon put in danger by the sudden arrival of the Bloodbottler Giant, who suspects the BFG of harboring Sophie. Sophie hides in the snozzcumber, unknown to the BFG, and the BFG offers the snozzcumber to the Bloodbottler, hoping that its foul taste will repel him from the area; whereupon the Bloodbottler spits out the snozzcumber and Sophie, and leaves in disgust. When Sophie announces she is thirsty, the BFG treats her to a fizzy drink called frobscottle, which causes noisy flatulence because of the bubbles sinking downwards. The BFG calls this “Whizpopping”. The next morning, the BFG takes Sophie to Dream Country to catch more dreams, but is tormented by the other giants along the way; notably by their leader, the Fleshlumpeater, the largest and most fearsome.
In Dream Country, the BFG demonstrates his dream-catching skills to Sophie; but the BFG mistakenly captures a nightmare, and uses it to start a fight among the other giants when Fleshlumpeater has a nightmare about Jack. Sophie later persuades him to approach the Queen of England toward imprisoning the other giants. To this end, she uses her knowledge of London to navigate the BFG to Buckingham Palace, and the BFG creates a nightmare, introducing knowledge of the man-eating giants to the Queen, and leaves Sophie in the Queen’s bedroom to confirm it. Because the dream included the knowledge of Sophie’s presence, the Queen believes her and speaks with the BFG.
After considerable effort by the palace staff to create a table, chair, and cutlery of appropriate size, the BFG is given a delicious breakfast, and the Queen telephones the King of Sweden and the Sultan of Baghdad to confirm the BFG’s story – the giants having visited those locations on the previous two nights – then summons the Head of the British Army and the Marshal of the Royal Air Force. The said officers, though initially belligerent and skeptical, eventually agree to cooperate.
A fleet of helicopters then follows Sophie and the BFG to the giants’ homeland, where the giants are tied up as they sleep, suspended under the helicopters, and carried back to London, where they are imprisoned in a pit. The only one not easily caught is the Fleshlumpeater, who wakes up as the British attempt to tie him up, but Sophie and the BFG trick him into allowing his own capture by claiming that he has been poisoned by a venomous snake so that he will put his hands and feet together to be tied up. The man-eating giants are then imprisoned in a deep pit where they are only fed snozzcumbers.
Afterwards, a huge castle is built as the BFG’s new house, with a little cottage next door for Sophie. While they are living happily in England, with several gifts coming in for many years from the governments of every country ever targeted by the giants (notably England, Sweden, Iraq, Arabia, India, Panama, Tibet, the United States, Chile, Jersey and New Zealand), the BFG writes a book of their adventures, which is then identified as the novel itself.
- In groups, investigate about any other Roald Dahl’s stories and make a summary about it.
- Make a mural with your story and some drawings. Look at Garry Parsons’ drawings for Roald Dahl’s stories.
- Oral Exposition: tell us the story
- The play