Miss Spider in James & the Giant Peach

Instructor: Mary Evans

Mary has taught elementary school for six years and has a master's degree in education.

Imagine you're about to begin a dangerous journey on a giant piece of magic fruit. Who would you like to accompany you? Believe it or not, a giant spider might be an excellent choice! Read on to learn about Miss Spider from James & the Giant Peach.

Who is Miss Spider?

As you may have guessed, Miss Spider from James & the Giant Peach is a spider, an eight-legged creature known for spinning webs to capture its prey. Some spiders are even poisonous. Scary!

But in James & the Giant Peach, Miss Spider isn't scary at all. In fact, she has a caring personality that balances out the rude character of Centipede and the gloomy character of Earthworm. Miss Spider is also very hard-working, and she helps the group of friends out a lot during their journey.

Miss Spider has eight legs, like this spider, and she also has a caring nature.
spider graphic

A Sympathetic Character

Miss Spider is a sympathetic character, meaning she is likable and has traits that cause the reader to feel sympathy--or understanding--for her. While she looks terrifying, she turns out to be a kind and caring friend to James and the rest of the group. And like James, she has felt sorrow at the hands of Aunts Spiker and Sponge. Aunt Sponge even murdered Miss Spider's father and grandmother, and hearing Miss Spider's side of the story helps us sympathize with her.

When the author describes her as having 'a large, black and murderous-looking head, which to a stranger was probably the most terrifying of all,' the reader feels bad that this dear, sweet spider is mistaken for a beast.

The Hard-Working Miss Spider

James and the others are very lucky to have Miss Spider around! In addition to being kind and caring, she is also extremely useful to those on board the peach. From the very beginning, she shows this by spinning a bed for everyone out of soft silk.

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