What is the most important thing Bod learns in chapter 3 of The Graveyard Book?

Perhaps the most important lesson that Bod learns in chapter 3 is that he should fear death. Before this chapter, Bod is fearless.

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In chapter 3, Bod meets various ghouls and is taken to the city of Ghûlheim. Bod describes the city as "every nightmare he had ever endured" and compares it to "a huge mouth of jutting teeth." The city looks so appalling that Bod imagines that "all the fears and madnesses and revulsions of the creatures who built it were made into stone." Seeing this city, Bod is "engulfed" by a feeling which feels like a combination of "fear, disgust and loathing." Prior to seeing the city of Ghûlheim, Bod was not afraid of dying. He has been raised, after all, by ghosts. However, after seeing this dreadful city, Bod learns that there is something to fear. He fears dying and becoming a ghoul in Ghûlheim.

In chapter 3, Bod meets Miss Lupescu, and through this character he learns another lesson: that appearances can be deceptive. Miss Lupescu's appearance is not attractive. She has a "pinched" face and her front teeth are "slightly crooked." She speaks in a very direct and uncompromising manner to Bod, and Bod complains, while she can hear him, that she is "horrible." Bod also thinks that the lessons Miss Lupescu tries to teach him are boring and useless. When Miss Lupescu tries to teach him about ghouls, for example, Bod complains that she teaches "in lists," and that he "could not see the point to it." Later on in the chapter, however, Miss Lupescu rescues Bod from the ghouls, and when she does, Bod realizes that she does care for him after all, and that her lessons were not quite as useless as he thought. From this, Bod learns that he should not jump to conclusions based on appearances or first impressions.

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