James in James & the Giant Peach

Instructor: Kristin Pia Hayman

Kristin taught for over 10 years in the elementary classroom. She holds a B.A. in Journalism as well as a Master's Degree in Elementary Education.

In 'James & the Giant Peach,' the main character, James, goes through some hard times. But he learns many lessons and comes out a stronger, happier person by the end of the story. Let's discuss James and some of his important character traits.

Who is James?

In Roald Dahl's classic children's novel James & the Giant Peach, James Henry Trotter is what we call a protagonist, or main character. When an author creates a protagonist, that character is generally a good person who the reader likes and can relate to. Authors do this by giving the character positive character traits, or attitudes and behaviors that make up their personality.

These are some examples of positive character traits.
traits

James had many positive character traits, and we'll explore some of his most well-known character traits below.

A Lonely Boy At First

Could you imagine being a kid and not having any friends to play with? Well, this is exactly the situation for James at the start of the novel. When we first meet James, he's a very lonely boy who wants nothing more than to be happy, have friends, and escape from his mean aunts.

You see, when James was young, his parents were killed by a rhinoceros who escaped from the zoo! Since then, he has lived with his Aunt Sponge and Aunt Spiker, who are mean to him, force him to work, and never let him leave the house. What an unfortunate turn of events! He mostly keeps to himself and does a lot of daydreaming. But one day, James meets an old man who gives him a magical gift that changes his life!

Leader of the Peach

After the magic pellets let the peach grow to the size of a house, James and the creatures inside begin their journey from England to New York City. As the peach travels across the Atlantic Ocean, James becomes the leader of the group of strange creatures. Centipede, Earthworm, Old Green Grasshopper, Miss Spider, Lady-Bug, Glowworm, and Silkworm look to James because of his problem-solving skills and resourcefulness.

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