Private Peaceful

by

Michael Morpurgo

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Grandma Wolf, one of the novel’s antagonists, is technically Tommo’s great aunt, but she likes to be called “Grandma” instead. Tommo, Charlie, and Big Joe, however, prefer to call her “Grandma Wolf,” because she reminds them of the wolf in Little Red Riding Hood, thanks to her vicious nature. She moves in briefly with the Peacefuls when the children are young, and is consistently cruel to them, killing Big Joe’s beloved pet mouse and making snide remarks about the boys’ mother, Mrs. Peaceful. Eventually she moves up to the estate, when the Colonel asks her to return as a live-in housekeeper. She had worked for the Colonel before, but had been fired by his wife when it was discovered that Grandma Wolf and the Colonel were actually having an affair. After the Colonel’s wife dies, she becomes the Colonel’s mistress again, and starts practically running the whole estate as a result, making everyone who works there miserable.
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Grandma Wolf Character Timeline in Private Peaceful

The timeline below shows where the character Grandma Wolf appears in Private Peaceful. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Chapter 2: Twenty to Eleven
Cruelty and Power Theme Icon
Grief, Guilt, and Family Theme Icon
...present-day Tommo isn’t hungry. He thinks to himself that it is a good job that Grandma Wolf (Tommo’s great aunt) isn’t with him, because she would be angry at him for not... (full context)
Cruelty and Power Theme Icon
...the only relative the Peacefuls have is called on to help look after the children. Grandma Wolf moves into the cottage to look after the house and children. She is technically Mrs.... (full context)
Cruelty and Power Theme Icon
The family’s “whole world change[s]” when Grandma Wolf moves in. The boys barely see their mother because she was working so much, and... (full context)
Chapter 3: Nearly Quarter Past Eleven
Cruelty and Power Theme Icon
Grandma Wolf “hate[s] mice.” She is terrified of them, and so the boys are happy in winter... (full context)
Courage Theme Icon
Cruelty and Power Theme Icon
Religion and Faith Theme Icon
All autumn, Grandma Wolf only catches one mouse, and the children throw a grand funeral for it. They all... (full context)
Cruelty and Power Theme Icon
While Grandma Wolf seems to hate the boys, she likes Molly. She claims that Molly has been raised... (full context)
Cruelty and Power Theme Icon
...with. The children tell him that he must keep it very safe and away from Grandma Wolf , in a drawer in his room. Big Joe loves collecting pets, but the mouse... (full context)
Courage Theme Icon
Cruelty and Power Theme Icon
...come home from school one day to find Big Joe crying, and his drawer empty. Grandma Wolf is screaming that she will not allow “any nasty dirty animals in her house,” and... (full context)
Cruelty and Power Theme Icon
Soon, though, “a miracle happen[s],” and Grandma Wolf leaves the children for good. The Colonel’s wife dies, so Mrs. Peaceful has no reason... (full context)
Cruelty and Power Theme Icon
The best news of all is that the Colonel asks Grandma Wolf to go back to work at the “Big House” as a live-in housekeeper, which keeps... (full context)
Chapter 4: Ten to Midnight
Cruelty and Power Theme Icon
...Big House “at the point of a shotgun” and takes them to the Colonel and Grandma Wolf . Grandma Wolf calls the boys “a downright disgrace,” and “common thieves,” and then the... (full context)
Chapter 7: Twenty-Eight Minutes Past One
Grief, Guilt, and Family Theme Icon
...brought together through their shared relief and joy. Even the Colonel and the “Wolfwoman” ( Grandma Wolf ) join in, and later give the Peacefuls a lift home in the Colonel’s Rolls... (full context)