James and the Giant Peach


Roald Dahl

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James and the Giant Peach: Chapter 30 Summary & Analysis

Everyone listens, but the voice is too far away to make out properly. Miss Spider cries that it’s a Cloud-Man come to get them, while the Earthworm says, “It came from above!” Everyone looks up at a huge, dark cloud. Faintly, they hear someone shout to turn on the faucets. Within seconds, the cloud bursts open. What comes out isn’t raindrops, though; it’s like the whole ocean falls out of the sky. James and his friends grab onto whatever they can so the water doesn’t wash them away. The deluge makes James think this is the end, but suddenly, it stops. The Old-Green-Grasshopper and the Earthworm gasp at how wet they are, but the Centipede shouts with excitement—the water washed the paint off. He dances and sings a song about how happy he is to be a pest again.
Once again, the Cloud-Men prove that the natural world can be dangerous if people don’t treat it with respect and reverence. This is clearly revenge for either doing away with their fellow Cloud-Man or for insulting them earlier. However, the deluge nevertheless frees the Centipede from his stiff paint. With this, the novel suggests that the natural world may teach lessons that are frightening, but learning those lessons is nevertheless a good thing. Hopefully, the Centipede will be able to move on, knowing he shouldn’t insult people.
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