Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children Symbols and Motifs

Ransom Riggs

Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children

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Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children Symbols and Motifs

Emma’s Apple 

The apple that Emma gives Jacob is an interesting symbol of the fragility of life between the loop and the current time. Not only does it foreshadow the issue facing the peculiar children, who are essentially stuck in the loop lest they want to die, but it also demonstrates the difficulty of connecting the past with the present. Things from the past are forgotten, die, or are replaced. In many ways, although Abraham is not forgotten, he is replaced by the man Jacob becomes by the end of the novel.

The Waiting Woman

The Waiting Woman represents a guardian, looking over the ocean in anticipation of lost sailors. She awaits their safe return. The Waiting Woman is curiously not in the loop—she was created later. Instead, the loop requires its own guardian. Jacob refers to both himself and his grandfather as watchdogs, and, in many ways, this is accurate when one considers Jacob’s own role in saving Miss Peregrine from the sea. While the statue in the present is waiting, Jacob is watching. While the statue is female, Jacob is male—more binary oppositions with different implications.


Monsters are a motif throughout the novel. The actually meaning of the monsters remains blurry, however. In some points in the story, the monsters appear to both the reader and Jacob to represent the Nazis that pursued and killed Abraham’s family. Monsters can also come to mean the fears with which Jacob and other characters wrestle. Ultimately, monsters come to mean the hollowgast and the wights, creatures that are very monstrous—they come in the dark of night, and they can come in any form. 


Religion, or better, faith, is an important motif that is used throughout the novel. From Abraham’s family’s religious beliefs marking them for discrimination, to Jacob’s struggle of faith in believing the story of his grandfather’s past, issues of religion and faith pervade. Jacob finds the children’s house by having faith in each step that he takes. He considers the peculiar children gods of the world in which they live. Franklin accuses Jacob of worshipping Abraham. It all adds up to an important…

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