James and the Giant Peach


Roald Dahl

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James and the Giant Peach: Chapter 16 Summary & Analysis

The peach crashes out of the garden and bounds down the hill, picking up speed as it goes. People walking up the hill to see the peach scream and run to get out of the way. At the bottom of the hill, the peach knocks over a telephone pole and flattens two cars. It crashes through fences, scattering livestock. In the village, it crashes right through a chocolate factory and leaves two peach-shaped holes in the brick—which chocolate promptly begins to pour out of, flooding the entire village. Children gulp up the chocolate gleefully. At the edge of town, the peach leap off the cliffs and into the ocean, where it bobs on the surface.
It’s significant that adults are afraid of the peach—while the children around the chocolate factory delight in the peach’s destruction and the absurdity of the whole situation. Children, the novel suggests, are better able to take life as it comes and look for the bright spots. The mention of a chocolate factory perhaps shows Dahl beginning to conceptualize Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, which he published three years after James and the Giant Peach.
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