What is one word that describes Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children?

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Ashley Kannan | Middle School Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

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I think that one word that can be used to describe Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children is "transcendent."  There is much in the novel that represents what it means to be transcendent.  The world in which Jacob lives is a temporal one.  It is real life, consisting of daily activities.  It is for this reason that he is so fascinated by the stories that his grandfather tells.  Grandpa Portman's stories are transcendent because they span time and place and move Jacob into another world.  As Jacob's father reveals to him, Grandpa's stories can also be seen as transcendent because they are told in a time period where the brutality of contingency was evident.  As Grandpa lives in Poland during the time of the Nazis, it is clear that his stories and his connection to the orphanage is one that transcends the horror of Hitler.  The premise of the orphanage and a place that surpasses the limits and constraints of the world in which we live is a powerful one. This world, guarded by a bird and filled with stories of children who possess capacities that are beyond individual understanding, is a transcendent one.  This world is a design of what can be, transformative possibilities that far surpass the  temporal realm of existence.  

In this regard, much of the book focuses on that which is transcendent.  Jacob's desire to research the past transcends the condition in which he lives and the pain he experiences. His finding of Miss Peregrine's orphanage and the "peculiar" children that live there are also representative of being "transcendent" because their talents and their being lie beyond space and time.  Being able to transcend life in giving it to objects, or amazing strength are examples of gifts that move past the capacity of what human beings can do and into a realm of what is possible.  Finally, Jacob's gift is one that transcends the power of the monsters.  In needing to protect others, like his grandfather, Jacob transcends into a realm where human beings are defined by what they can do.  In these examples, I feel that the word "transcendent" is one word that can be used to describe the narrative offered.  

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