James and the Giant Peach


Roald Dahl

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James and the Giant Peach: Chapter 39 Summary & Analysis

This ends James’s journey, but he and his friends all become rich and successful in the United States. The Centipede becomes the vice president of a boot company, while the Earthworm works for a company that makes women’s face creams. He acts in commercials for the creams. The Silkworm and Miss Spider learn to spin nylon thread and make ropes for tightrope walkers, while the Glow-worm replaces the light bulb inside the Statue of Liberty’s torch. She saves the city from paying a huge electricity bill. The Old-Green-Grasshopper, meanwhile, joins the New York Symphony Orchestra with his violin. And the Ladybug, who spent her life fearing that a fire would destroy her home and family, marries the head of the fire department.
It’s telling that all of James’s bug friends find jobs and lives in New York City. And indeed, the novel implies that each of James’s friends finds a job that plays to their strengths and allows them to find success. With this, the novel insists that if people celebrate diversity and welcome newcomers with open arms, the world becomes a richer place. Each of James’s friends brings a new spin to their respective jobs, making the job of a spinner or a violinist in the orchestra even more fun and interesting than it was before.
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The city sets the peach pit up in Central Park. In addition to being a famous monument, the pit becomes James’s home. Every day, James welcomes visitors into his home. Sometimes they can find the Old-Green-Grasshopper or the Ladybug there as well. And every week, children visit the peach pit and become James’s best friends. He’s now the happiest boy in the world. Because all his new friends beg him to tell his story all the time, James eventually writes it all down in a book. That book is the one the reader just finished.
When James decides to live in the peach pit in Central Park, it reminds readers that he’s not a full adult yet. He may be more mature, but he’s not mature enough to live in an apartment building in the very adult city. Choosing to write down his story to share with other children, however, represents another significant leap in James’s maturity. He recognizes the importance of the lessons that he learned and he wants to be able to easily share them with others.
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