Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children

Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children Quotes and Analysis

Within two seconds he'd convinced me that the creature had been nothing more than the product of my overheated imagination; that the trauma of my grandfather's death had made me see something that wasn't really there.

Jacob, p. 28

With little trouble, Dr. Golan is able to get Jacob to doubt even what he saw with his own eyes. He is able to convince him that he actually was crazy, and this shows how much frightening power this man has over him. This is why, later, the revelation that Dr. Golan was a wight following Jacob around is even more troubling of a betrayal.

Find the bird. In the loop. On the other side of the old man's grave. September third, 1940.

Grandpa Portman, p. 23

These are Grandpa Portman's dying words, his cryptic instructions that will eventually lead Jacob to Cairnholm and all the secrets it holds. Up until this point, he has kept Jacob's peculiar identity from him in order to protect him, and allowed him to believe that all the stories he used to tell were fake. Now, though, in his dying moments, he chooses to set his grandson on the path to the truth.

I left the house feeling like I was further than ever from the truth.

Jacob, p. 56

Jacob expected many secrets to be revealed the moment he saw the house. Instead, what he saw was a massive, abandoned, decrepit building, without any people there or any way to tell its own story. He feels more discouraged than ever when he leaves the house that first day, uncertain that he will find what he is looking for in Cairnholm.

He let himself grow old.

Miss Peregrine, p. 100

Miss Peregrine says this in sadness after Jacob tells her what happened to Grandpa Portman. The entire purpose of the loop is to keep these children young indefinitely, but Grandpa Portman chose to leave this pleasant youth behind and face the real world instead. This choice eventually cost him his life, but only after he had lived long and grown old, which the rest of the peculiar children have not had the chance to do.

Then, like a movie that burns in the projector while you're watching it, a bloom of hot and perfect whiteness spread out before me and swallowed everything.

Jacob, p. 115

Jacob is astonished when he experiences the loop's changeover for the first time. This is the moment when the time-bending, peculiar world at last becomes fully real to him. Up until this point, he could have pretended he was just imagining things, but after watching them reverse a bomb strike and cheat death in this way, he knows that what he is seeing is real.

Yours is a world they can never be a part of, Mr. Portman. So what's the use in filling their heads with grand talk about the exotic wonders of the future?

Miss Peregrine, p. 138

Miss Peregrine is protective not just over her wards' physical well-being, but their mental well-being as well. She believes that filling their heads with fluff about the wonders of the future will only hurt them in the long run, since they are safer in the loop and can never venture outside. She does not want to torment them with a desire for something they can never have.

It's him you want, not me. I can't be him for you.

Jacob, p. 162

This quote encapsulates the tension that, up until this point, has kept Emma and Jacob apart. Jacob believes that Emma does not truly have feelings for him—rather, he is just a stand-in for his grandfather who left her long ago. This tension drives a wedge in their budding relationship, and it is a while before they are able to overcome it.

They may love you, but they'll never understand.

Miss Peregrine, p. 176

Miss Peregrine points out the difference between Jacob and his parents, a difference that is even more pronounced now that Jacob knows that he himself is peculiar. This has been the case throughout Jacob's life—his parents have shown they care for him, but they have not been able to understand his feelings and concerns.

They made their choice long ago. What's important is that there's a grand plan in motion, Jacob, and you'll be part of it.

Dr. Golan, p. 195

Since he once posed as Jacob's psychiatrist, this wight knows all of Jacob's insecurities, and also knows how to play with them. He promises Jacob a role of importance in the plan the wights and hollows are hatching to overpower time and death and become immortal, knowing that this kind of recognition will entice him. This is a test of Jacob's willpower, and he passes.

It was strange to think that one day I might have my own stack of yellowed photos to show skeptical grandchildren—and my own fantastic stories to share.

Jacob, p. 230

Jacob's entire journey to Cairnholm was about uncovering his grandfather's past and understanding the man who came before him. He has been looking backwards throughout the novel—now, at the very end, he looks forward into the future and imagines himself in Grandpa Portman's shoes, narrating his life to his future family. Before this, the novel focused on the interplay between past and present. Now, it brings the future into the picture as well.