Research Proposal: James and the Giant Peach

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James and the Giant Peach: James as Seen Through the Eyes of the Book And the Film

James and the Giant Peach is a famous, classic children's story by Roald Dahl that has been transformed into an animated film of the same name. Both book and film tell the story of a young orphaned boy named James. His parents have been killed in a freak accident. James lives with two horrible aunts, named Striker and Sponge, and dreams of moving to New York City someday. The boy's dreams come true when he meets a mysterious man whose magic swells a peach in the aunt's yard to giant proportions. The peach and various insects who assume life-size proportions accompany James as the peach escapes the confines of England and eventually arrives in New York City.

The most obvious difference between the book and the film is that in the film, Aunts Striker and Sponge live on, and pursue James in his peach across the Atlantic in their car. In the book, they are more miserable and bitter than evil and seem to have a vendetta against the world in general, rather than James. In the book they are killed when the peach rolls upon their house. In the film, Striker and Sponge actually come to New York City. The cinematic James has been fantasizing and dreaming about going to New York City and seeing the Empire State Building for his whole life. This is in contrast to the book where New York City is only briefly referenced at the beginning.

The James of the film is much more emotionally invigorated by his adventures and more empowered as a character than the James of the book. In the film, James, now powerful and emboldened with his success in navigating the peach with a compass and leading his insect friends, apprehends Striker and Sponge, and turns them over to the NYPD. The James in the book is fairly passive, but in the film James takes charge of the talking insects, steers the peach, and makes his way alone in New York City after he is separated from his friends. In the world of the film, the experiences of James with the peach are clearly more of a depiction of a child's powerful fantasy life than in the book. This is accomplished by a "Wizard… [END OF PREVIEW]

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James and the Giant Peach.  (2008, October 21).  Retrieved October 14, 2019, from https://www.essaytown.com/subjects/paper/james-giant-peach/170630

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"James and the Giant Peach."  Essaytown.com.  October 21, 2008.  Accessed October 14, 2019.
https://www.essaytown.com/subjects/paper/james-giant-peach/170630.