Sunday, June 3, 2012

Blog Entry # 12 : Readable Draft

Possible Title:  Embreacing the fruit of maturity: Understanding the process of growing up, transcending the orphans pain and finding an identity in Roald Dahl's James and the Giant Peach.

   A magical Giant peach that serves as a ship or carrier for James adventures is the central symbol in Roald Dahl's 1961 children novel James and the Giant Peach. One day after having spilled magical crystals around an old peach tree , James founds that a Giant Peach had grown from the old three. Dying out of curiosity 10 years old orphan James enters the peach and much to his surpirse he finds that 7 giant insects where waiting for him to embark into amazing adventures across the Atlantic over to New York city from his native land England.

   English writer Roald Dahl(1916-1990) rose in the 1940´s with works for both chidrens and adults that were characterized by dark humor and unexpected endings. Dahl was a pilot for the brithish airforce during world war II, a poet,screewritter and short story writter. Dahl first became renownk for his work in 1942 with his first work C.S foster, a work that that told the story about his wartime adventures. Later on, he decided to continue with books for childrens with his first book being  The Gremlins based on creatures that the british airforce in jkoke told to be the ones that caused damages in their airpanes.Moreover, he then started to focus on fantasy books for children characterised for orphans and their heros quest with works such as Charlie and the Chocolate Factorie, Matilda and James and the Giant Peach. Many of his works were turn into film scripts such as Willy wonka and the chocolate factory, Your only live twice and Matilda. After some years in his career he become known as one of the most important authors of children books in British literature.

              What James founds across the sea is a series of trials to show him that he is valuable and that make him develop traits that would take him into maturity. The peach clearly symbolizes a psychological compound of traits that James has not yet embraced and needs to integrate in order to transcend his pain and loneliness as an orphan. More else, the 7 insects represent aspects the he also needs to develop in order to become an independent grown boy. Clearly , James resembles the archetype of an orphan that becomes a wanderer in order to grow up according to Carol Pearson's Heroic Myth System.

James character on the novel is clearly an orphan archetype according to pearson archetyipical system. He becomes an orphan when a rhino that escaped eats his parents.He then moves with his evil aunts who treat him like a slave. More else, James does not even attend to school as he is too buy working for her wicked aunts on an isolated house somewhere on a hill on England. And so he is desesperate for company (QUUOTE) and for a need of an idenity ouside the one of an slave orphan that his wicked aunts give him.

As a orphan who saw his aunts as his only parental figure and after being punished and denied permision to explore and have friends,James then assumes the role of a wanderer. Most wanderers are born out of orhpans as is the case of James who not being able to tolerate being alone and abused the suddently seeks adventures and starts to explore the outerparts of the hills in order to find something he does not know, perhaps an identidy?. While being at the hill James constantly reminds himself of what her aunts said to him about not going away as he tries to re assert himself to what to do in a situation where he can choose between delcare indpendence and explore, or obey and remain orphan.

James and The Giant peach fit perfectily in Campells Monomyth structure or Heroes quest (As in Campelss, Here with a thousand faces). James is pushed into advture by his own desire to find himself and explore whats ouside,and so he hears "the call for adventure" as he crosses the boundaries stablished by her aunts that are physically invisible but completly based on his fear orphan and ingnorance about the power of his own autonomy.He then embakrs into advetures with tests and surprises that he never thougt could happen to later return home more stringer ,confident and mature, this time having found his own value and having explored and trascended most of the pain of being an orphan to become more mature and independent.

At an archetipical orphan, James resebles a very innocent one, who seems to accept life as it is and never questions anything but just accepts life as it comes with all the orders of his wicked aunts.As the novel goes on, one realizes that James is in a great pain that he perhpas does not understand as he has already adapted to  the isoleted and abusive enviromet.

What marks a the break of his innocente into a more revelious James, is when denial of his aunts (quote) for him to explore and be a child.(considering he is entering his teen years and needs to feel a child for a last time). As a result like a lesson every orphan must learn , he starts his jorney into becoming self suficcined by revealing to his by then accepted reallity of loneliness, abuse and grieff. After unconsciuslly reveling to his aunts orders to not wanter around the hill, because the common feeling of an orphan to being on limbo (belly of the whale) James then seeks exitement.

In the process of growing up and trasceniding being an orphan, the indivudal has to accept the loss of innocence and become self sufficient. As we can see in the book , James looses his innocence and starts looking for exitement to later find the Giant peach. The Giant Peach, then resembles a pile of emotions that he needs to integrate to trascend and find a mature selfsuffient James as it symbolizes a fruit or fruitition a result he is searching for.

Surprinsingly, when James decides to enter the peach in awe, he finds the insects that had also grownh big due to the magic talisman the old man gave to James and that he accidentaly trhown near the peach trhree.
The 7 insectes represent what James is missing, both in the positive and negative way. Dahl at the start of the novels gives a pretty blank description of James as just an innocent boy who obeys her aunts orders, but as soon as he enters the peach and meets the insects he beings a methamirphis where he little by little starts to take them as frinds and rolemodels. Chapter by chapter as James becomes closer to the insects ,he becomes more intersting a full of surprises, it seems that the insects give James the reflection needed to create or find his own identidy.

And so James adventures with his new firends starts when the peach starts to roll down the hill into the sea. The first trial is that once in the sea James must calm the insects out of their fear of never making it alive to firm terrain. He is then force to take the role of a hero rolemodel to the insects to praise him for his wisdom and are very nervous to the events unfolding. The next test, resembeling again the need for nurture of an orhpan symbolizded by freud as the need for food ,unfolds.Because of the insects are scared to die out of hunger, James realizes that they can eat the peach itself that would fullfill all their needs. And so, James symbolically starts to be able to self fullfill that empty space of the need of an orphan for care (food).

Deep into the see we can see that James as perhaps Jung and Freud would describe water and sea, is going further in the layers of his subcounciess to find what is holding him back out of his next natural step of maturity and self realization,and so the next trial arises. When a group of angered sharks see the insects and James over the peach they decide to sunk the peach in order to sunk it and eat the tripulants. Therefore, with 7 insects that see James as clever smart person,he is pushed to take the role of a warrior. Concecuently ,James creates a plan to safe himself and the insects from the sharks, and aims at the sky. He decides to make the silkworm and Miss spider give him their silk to catch seagulls that are atracted to the centipede as ballons o lift off. He then proofs to the insects and himself that he is a striong warrior that can solve critical situations.

Finally , the peach lands in the middle of central park where James lives with his friends the insects and makes the peach a museum, were he mainly recides and meets a lot of children and is happy ,marking his return into "home"(Campell's Monomyth end). As for the insects they are still James friends but they become good at they want to, some of them become famous artists, others make a lot of money and all are happy. At the end James makes a museum out of the peach becuase he now understands his mind ,himself and is proud of it!. More else he is not afraid to share what he is with others and so he makes alot of frinds. An lives happiliy in the middle of a city, (crazy powerfull world) but in the park and in the peach (himself, with conviction,being independend and knowing his own power) . All and all, James and the Giant Peach resembles the psycological development of children into finding an identidy and becomeing independent. With the separation of his parents, the intiation into his own power, and his return to being happy, we see the pattern of development of children and how James became self sufficient ,transcending the orphans pain, and found himself as an strong and valuable individual and so also transcending the wanderer confusion and quest for an identity..



Freud Sigmund . ,Wikipedia article, development phases. May,2,2012

Pearson, Carol. Awakening the Heroes WithinTwelve Archetypes to help us Find Ourselves and Transform the World.  New York: Harper One. 1991.

Pearson, Carol. The Hero Within: Six Archetypes we Live By. 3rd Edition. New York: HarperOne, 1986.

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