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Aunt Sponge in James & the Giant Peach

Instructor: April DeBord

April has taught Spanish and English as a Second Language and she has her Ed. S. in Foreign Language Education.

Aunt Sponge was one of James' family members in James & the Giant Peach. She and Aunt Spiker made James do all of the housework and were very mean to James. Let's read on to learn more about Aunt Sponge and her role in the story.

Who is Aunt Sponge?

Aunt Sponge is one of James' aunts, and she's an antagonist of James & the Giant Peach. An antagonist is a character who starts trouble with and is against the main character. Author Roald Dahl describes Aunt Sponge's appearance best:

Aunt Sponge was enormously fat and very short. She had small piggy eyes, a sunken mouth, and one of those white flabby faces that looked exactly as though it had been boiled.

The author creates an unpleasant picture of Aunt Sponge, and her personality matches her description.

Mean Aunt Sponge

From the very beginning when James came to live with his aunts, they were cruel to him. Aunt Sponge is under Aunt Spiker's control, and she's scared to stand up to Aunt Spiker. She's a weak and cowardly, and she follows in Aunt Spiker's footsteps in treating James like he is unwanted. If James makes the smallest mistake, they yell at and punish him.

Her personality is reflected in her name: Like a Sponge, she has no backbone, and she soaks up her sister's meanness. And together, both aunts direct their cruelty at James.

Selfish Aunt Sponge

Like Aunt Spiker, Aunt Sponge is very selfish. When the peach grows to be huge, the first thing she wants to do is eat it, even though the peach is not hers. This shows her piggish character.

Later, Aunt Sponge wants to make money off the peach after Aunt Spiker says they should charge the townspeople money to see the peach. She is truly a selfish and spineless person.

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