James and the Giant Peach

by

Roald Dahl

Teachers and parents! Struggling with distance learning? Our Teacher Edition on James and the Giant Peach can help.

James and the Giant Peach: Chapter 38 Summary & Analysis

Summary
Analysis
Within five minutes, James and his friends are down off the peach. James tells his story to shocked first responders, who treat James and the bugs like heroes. The Mayor welcomes the newcomers to New York while big cranes get the peach off of the Empire State Building. Then, the Mayor announces that it’s time for a parade. James and the bugs sit in a big open limousine, while the peach follows behind on a big truck. Nobody cares about the hole from the Empire State Building’s spike, which causes peach juice to drip into the street. The Mayor and other important New Yorkers follow the peach.
Calling for a parade is the Mayor’s way of celebrating absurdity and new things. More importantly, the parade will also introduce thousands of other people to something new: the idea of a giant peach and giant bugs. The parade, in this sense, spreads the idea that people should greet new things with curiosity and openness to an entire city. Parading the peach itself also holds up the natural world as a positive thing worth admiring.
Themes
Assumptions vs. Curiosity Theme Icon
Nature and Growing Up Theme Icon
Fun, Nonsense, and Absurdity Theme Icon
The crowds cheer and yell for James and his friends. Suddenly, a little girl runs out and asks to have a taste of the peach. James gives her permission and hundreds of other children join her. The trail of children gets to be a mile long. James hasn’t seen this many children in years—it’s the best thing he’s ever seen. By the end of the parade, the peach is gone. Only the pit remains.
Even though James is now in the adult world of the city, this doesn’t mean that he’ll never be around children again. Even though he’s come of age symbolically, he is still a seven-year-old child. When he agrees to share his peach with the other children, he introduces them to the wonders of the natural world.
Themes
Children vs. Adults Theme Icon
Nature and Growing Up Theme Icon