James and the Giant Peach


Roald Dahl

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James and the Giant Peach: Chapter 31 Summary & Analysis

The Ladybug observes that the peach seems to be going very fast. James thinks the seagulls don’t like the Cloud-Men either and want to get away quickly. At a few more points that night, James and his friends notice the Cloud-Men. They pass a snow machine and the drums that make thunder. Past the machines that make cyclones and tornadoes, James notices the city of the Cloud-Men. The wives of the Cloud-Men crouch over stoves, frying snowballs while children play. Just before dawn, the travelers hear a whoosh above and see something large and bat-like. The creature cries and flies away. Miss Spider moans that she wants morning to come soon. James points to the horizon, where the sky is just starting to lighten.
By this point, the travelers are growing tired of their journey. But even though their curiosity is waning, this doesn’t mean there aren’t still things to learn—such as that thunder comes from drums, or that tornadoes come from machines. But the fact that even James seems ready to have this night be over points to the fact that over the course of his journey, he’s begun to come of age in significant ways. He’s closer to being ready to leave behind the natural world of childhood for a more adult world, where he can put what he’s learned to use.
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