Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children

by Ransom Riggs
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How does Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children explore the themes of identity and the supernatural?

In a sense, Ransom Riggs in Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children explores the transitory nature of identity. People can be many things. Miss Peregrine can be a headmistress, and she can also be a falcon. Dr. Golan can be a monster, and he can also be a psychiatrist. Having unique abilities also comes off as a limitation. The supernatural identities of the children seem to restrict their engagement with the general world.

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I suppose you could claim that Ransom Riggs ’s novel highlights the vulnerability of identity. It might explore the ephemeral nature of identity. People don’t stay the same. Miss Peregrine could be the head of a school for children with unique powers and appearances. Yet she can also be a...

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I suppose you could claim that Ransom Riggs’s novel highlights the vulnerability of identity. It might explore the ephemeral nature of identity. People don’t stay the same. Miss Peregrine could be the head of a school for children with unique powers and appearances. Yet she can also be a falcon. It depends on the context. Perhaps Riggs is arguing against an absolute idea of identity. People shouldn’t feel pressured to be one thing at all times. They should be able to transform into different identities the way Peregrine does.

Conversely, you could argue that Riggs's novel explores how some identities can be limiting and can follow a person everywhere. For example, whatever Dr. Golan appears to be (a professional psychiatrist), he is, underneath it all, a wight, a bad person. Being a bad person, in the novel, is an identity that seems rather immune to change.

As for the peculiar children Jacob meets, their supernatural identities appear to limit them even though they're not bad like Dr. Golan. They're restricted to an island. You could argue their marginalization reflects the ways in which society tends to disregard supernatural occurrences or individuals that seem to defy normal, human identities. Remember, even Jacob, at one point, was dismissive of his grandpa’s stories.

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