James and the Giant Peach


Roald Dahl

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James and the Giant Peach: Chapter 33 Summary & Analysis

Down below in New York City, pandemonium breaks out. When someone sights a massive ball high over Manhattan, they believe it’s a bomb sent to destroy the city. Air-raid sirens tell people to take cover in subways and in cellars. The mayor of the city calls up the president, who abandons his breakfast cereal to get the military involved. Before long, the entire United States knows that the biggest bomb ever is about to explode over New York City.
The fact that the New Yorkers panic and believe the big ball—the peach—is a bomb again speaks to how people (and especially adults) are quick to make assumptions. The people’s widespread fear also gestures to the Cold War climate in which Dahl was writing.
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