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Glory Rodriguez
Professor Malvin
English 114A
30 November 2015
Miss Peregrines Home for Peculiar Children: Peculiarity
In Miss Peregrines Home for Peculiar Children almost everyone is peculiar. The novel is
mostly based on a grandfather named Abraham Portman, his grandson Jacob Portman, and
peculiar children. After a tragedy Jacob is left to figure it out why it happened all on his own,
which leads to some more tragic moments. He is then left to determine what to do with his life,
whether hell accept his true identity or pretend his adventure never happened. Every child in the
novel has their own power and is aware of what he/she is capable of. The only exception is
Jacob; he was not aware of what he was capable of until the end of the novel. Its important to
read novels like Miss Peregrines Home for Peculiar Children because it teaches people to realize
that being different is ok and is something to embrace and be proud of, even though it can lead to
loneliness.
Although Jacob didnt know it at first he had the same power as his grandfather, he didnt
even know that it was a peculiar power to begin with. Once he mentioned what he saw when his
grandfather died his family and friends thought he was insane. It stared back with eyes that
swam in dark liquid, furrowed trenches of carbon-black flesh loose on its hunched frame, its
mouth hinged open grotesquely so that a mass of long eel-like tongues could wriggle out (Riggs
37). This quote is a great example that proves that Jacob had the peculiar power of seeing
monsters before he knew it and it was just like his grandfathers. Jacobs parents felt that he
needed to see someone, a brain-shrinker Jacob called him, to talk about his issues and even he,

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Dr. Golan, didnt believe Jacob. I told him everything that had happened, even about the
creature, When I finished all he said was Great, thanks, and then turned to my parents and
asked if Id been to see anyone (Riggs 40-41). Jacob describes how differently people
treated him after he told the truth about what he saw. The image of the monster is pretty scary. I
can see why Jacob was afraid and why he ended up having nightmares. Jacobs peculiarity ended
up making him feel and actually become lonely. His own family didnt treat him the same and
his only friend, Ricky, stopped talking to him. Stephen King argues If we are all insane, the
sanity becomes a matter of degree (523). Kings quote connects to the novel because Jacob feels
like hes the only insane one, but King is reinforcing that we are a little insane. It only takes a
little bit of sanity to make us come across as sane people. In the beginning, Jacob didnt feel
accepted after telling the truth, therefore feeling as if he were crazy for believing in everything
his grandfather said and for what he saw.
Not only did Jacob feel lonely at home where he had people he knew and loved, but on
the island of Cairnholm as well. He went to figure out what his grandfathers last words truly
meant. As he arrived he felt like he wasnt really sure where to look or what he was looking for.
I felt numb, disconnected. It was too strange. Was someone playing a joke on me, I wondered
a weird, unfunny joke? (Riggs 99). This quote shows how Jacob really felt when he was told
that what he was looking for, the home of peculiar children, was gone. He felt that way because
that house held a lot of information pertaining to his grandfather. The house was the only thing
that was going to help Jacob truly understand who he is. No one really took him seriously or
offered much help and that caused him to feel alone. The older men, including his father, didnt
believe where he had been going causing them to question Jacob. I felt my face go hot. Id
never been called a liar by a nonrelative adult before (129). This is an important quote because

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it shows that even people who didnt know him personally didnt trust him. This kind of
treatment probably caused him to feel even worse because it usually isnt a strangers place to
judge. Jacob didnt let peoples opinions about him stand in his way of discovering the truth.
Abraham Portman always talked about his peculiar power and most of his family
members thought he was a mad old man. Grandpa Portman enjoyed sharing his stories with
Jacob. He always showed his photographs of the children he grew up with, The first was a
blurry picture of what looked like a suit of clothes with no person in them. Either that or the
person didnt have a head (Riggs 14/16). Grandpa Portman had shown Jacob a photograph of
a child from the home. Jacob was hesitant to believe the photo, saying that it had to be
manipulated. He didnt believe that someone could possibly live without a head. The image does
seem a little freaky and does make Jacob as well as the reader think twice about believing
grandpa Portman. Once Jacob was old enough he questioned a lot of the things his grandfather
told and showed him. His grandfather didnt only show him photos but talked about what life
was like living in the home with Miss Peregrine and the Peculiar Children. He vividly described
the real events that happened in the house. More fantastic still were the stories about life in the
Welsh childrens home. It was an enchanted place, he said, designed to keep kids safe from the
monsters, on an island where the sun shined every day and nobody ever got sick or died
(Riggs 13). This quote shows how grandpa Portman viewed the home. He talked about the home
as if it were his sanctuary. He loved where he grew up, but was also in a way terrified of what
came with it. He knew the kind of dangerous situations he would face because of his peculiarity.
He didnt let the horrible things keep him from being proud of who he was and didnt let the fact
that his family thought he was crazy keep him from embracing himself.

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Even though the children had gone through horrible events and were in a pretty bad
situation because of their peculiar powers, they didnt let that stop them from being proud of
themselves. It gives me the utmost pleasure to present to you a performance like no other in
history! A show of such unrivaled daring, of such accomplished magicianship, that you wont
believe your eyes! Good citizens, I give you Miss Peregrine and her Peculiar Children! (185).
Miss Peregrine and the peculiar children were very proud of who they were. They enjoyed
showing Jacob what they could do, they werent ashamed of being different. In fact, they
encouraged Jacob to accept that he was different as well. They would talk about all the things
they were capable of and he enjoyed hearing about it all. Jacob felt at home with Miss Peregrine
and the Peculiars. Once Jacob had decided to stay with the peculiars the only thing left to do was
to let his father know. He was nervous about telling his father because he would just think hes
crazy and immediately take him home. Emma, one of the many peculiar children, decided to help
Jacob tell his father. There is an image of a letter Emma wrote Jacobs father, Franklin, telling
him that Jacob was going to stay with her and some friends for awhile. She also included a photo
of herself and Abe hoping maybe that would help him believe them. (350-349). Patrick Hopkins
states Whereas you might be unusually talented, the talent could be specific to thousands of
different areas - (6-7). Hopkins reminds people that even though they are different it could
be a good thing. Not many people are given the opportunity to have certain powers/abilities.
Hopkins is able to connect to what is being discussed in the novel by addressing peoples
differences and acknowledging that those difference can lead to great things. Basically saying
that it is not bad to be different.
The peculiar children and Jacob grew up very differently. The children were taught to
embrace themselves and proudly be themselves. While Jacob, on the other hand, was raised to

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present himself a certain way. His family wanted him to be normal just like them. They never
gave him a chance to be himself. Jacobs family actually didnt really pay much attention to him
at all, At home I made my ambitions known parading around with a cardboard tube held to my
eye, shouting, Land ho! and Prepare a landing party! until my parents shooed me outside
(12). It doesnt seem like this behavior would discourage someone from being themselves, but if
they received this kind of negative feedback and inattentiveness on a daily basis it definitely
would affect any human-being especially a child. According to Popov and Ruth an individuals
behavioral style which has been linked to parent-child relationship develops early in life
(254). Popov makes really good points that connect to this novel as well as real life situations.
Stating the importance of listening and encouraging children to be themselves. Not being
supportive from the beginning can lead to unwanted stress. It is evident that Jacobs parents didnt
pay much attention to Jacobs preferences as a child, which later turned into them not
understanding him as an adult. It also builds onto trust. Since Jacobs parents werent that
involved with him they questioned the things he said and did.
Peculiarity is for some reason looked down on when in fact people should be proud that
they are able to do things not everyone has the ability to do. The peculiar children that lived with
Miss Peregrine seemed to have grasped that concept well. They enjoyed being different and
living a different lifestyle. It took a little bit longer for Jacob to realize it, but he eventually did.
Many people in todays society feel the need to be different in order to be accepted, while some
would much rather be labeled as normal. It all depends on how an individual looks at it. There
was a mixture of both embracing and hiding your true self in the novel. Reading novels like this
one can really help someone going through difficult times embrace themselves, without even
realizing it. I, personally, didnt think this novel could teach you so much about self-love. The

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reader really has to understand the novel in order to get the various themes as well as the
inspiration.

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Annotated Bibliography
Hopkins D. Patrick. The Lure of the Normal: Who Wouldnt Want to Be a Mutant? Article,
2009. Nov. 11, 2015.
Hopkins talks about the difference between normal and abnormal. This source is useful
because my topic is peculiarity which is almost like normality and abnormality. I can use
this source to make points about the children being normal or abnormal. It hasnt really
changed my mind on how I viewed my topic, but has made me think a little more about
where I stand on this issue.
King, Stephen. Models for Writers Short Essays for Composition. Why We Crave Horror
Movies Boston, MA: Bedford/St. Martins, 2015. Print.
King talks about how we feed off of horror movies. This piece is useful because the novel
is somewhat like a horror novel, it goes well with what he talks about. I can use this
piece to show that Jacob and the peculiars are normal for being afraid of the monsters.
Popov, Leonid M, and Ruth A. Ilesanmi. "Parent-Child Relationship: Peculiarities and
Outcome." Review of European Studies, 7.5 (2015): 253.
The relationship between children and their parents has a lot to do with how they grow
mentally as well as how they form other relationships. This scholarly article is useful
because it helps me see the differences and similarities between Jacob, who grew up with
his parents and the peculiar children who grew up with Miss Peregrine. I can use this
article by applying it to how they form relationships based on their peculiar powers.

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Evaluation Letter
Dear professor Malvin,
This essay was a little hard for me in the beginning because I wasnt sure which
theme to focus on. Even after I decided on a theme I still wasnt sure what to write about.
Attending your office hours really helped me with organization, but I still had trouble
adding detail. I dont know why but this has been a difficult process for me. It wasnt
because I didnt read the novel because I did. I actually really enjoyed it. I think it was
because there was a lot to write about and I wasnt sure where to start. I think I did well
considering I was completely lost at the beginning. I hope my essay is good because I did
put in a lot of effort. Im proud of how it turned out. I honestly didnt think I was ever
going to finish.