Study Guide

Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children Isolation

By Ransom Riggs


Check this definition of peculiar out:

Peculiar comes from the Latin peculiaris, meaning one's own, or personal. In English, it originally meant belonging to one person, private, like your fondness for your peculiar hairbrush. It also had the meaning of something unlike others, special, or remarkable. Eventually we mostly stopped using it for belongings, instead using peculiar to mean unusual or odd. (Source.)

We could make an argument for either definition—old or new—in Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children. The peculiar children of the title are definitely unusual or odd, but they're also special and remarkable. In order to stay safe, they have to stay private, sealed away from the rest of society. It's fitting, really, that both the old and new usage of the word work, since time has technically gone on, though the children are trapped in a loop of the past (until the very end, of course).

Questions About Isolation

  1. Why did Grandpa Abe leave the home for peculiar children?
  2. Why is it important for the children to say isolated, not just in location, but also in time?
  3. Does a person, like the peculiar children, have to be isolated to stay safe? Is it worth it? Is it possible to find a balance between isolation and safety?
  4. Do you think Jacob will regret choosing to stay in the time loop, and never seeing his family again? How can you tell?

Chew on This

Jacob has always been isolated. He only has one friend in Florida, and he isn't even a very good friend, so moving to the realm of peculiar children is actually less isolating for him.

Some of the peculiar children don't feel isolated because this is the only life they've known. That's why Miss Peregrine doesn't want Jacob telling them about the outside world—she doesn't want to ruin this contentedness for them.

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