James and the Giant Peach

by

Roald Dahl

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James and the Giant Peach: Chapter 7 Summary & Analysis

Summary
Analysis
Aunt Spiker, Aunt Sponge, and James stand and watch the peach. James is more excited than he’s been in a while. Within 30 seconds, the peach is the size of a melon. In another 20 seconds, it doubles in size. Aunt Spiker shouts for James to get away from the tree when the peach reaches the size of a pumpkin—it might fall and crush him. The branch begins to bend as the peach grows as big and heavy as Aunt Sponge. Soon after, the peach is as big as a car and it touches the ground. Aunt Spiker and Aunt Sponge leap around excitedly, clapping their hands and saying silly things. James just watches the peach, spellbound. It’s the most beautiful thing he’s ever seen—but when he voices this, his aunts tell him to shut up.
In comparing James’s reaction his aunts', it’s clear that James’s reaction is more mature. While James simply watches and remarks on the beauty of what he sees, his aunts completely lose all control as if they were children. With this, Dahl seems to suggest that adults may have more power than children, but that doesn’t necessarily mean that they’re always more mature than children. The giant peach, meanwhile, represents the wonders of the natural world—which are available to anyone, if they care to look.
Themes
Children vs. Adults Theme Icon
Nature and Growing Up Theme Icon
The peach continues to grow. When it’s as tall as the tree and about the size of a small house, Aunt Sponge and Aunt Spiker decide it’s done growing. Slowly, the women circle the peach and inspect it. Aunt Sponge puts out a finger to touch the peach and declares that it’s perfectly ripe. She suggests they get a shovel and dig out a hunk to eat, but Aunt Spiker has a better idea—they can make money off of the peach.
Rather than simply appreciate the giant peach for the magnificent thing that it is, Aunt Sponge and Aunt Spiker corrupt the innocence and the beauty of nature. By deciding that they’re going to make a profit off of the peach, they try to force the peach into the stuffy, controlling world of adults.
Themes
Children vs. Adults Theme Icon
Nature and Growing Up Theme Icon
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