The BFG Summary and Analysis of Chapters 12-17: Journey to Dream Country, Dream-Catching, A Trogglehumper for the Fleshlumpeater, Dreams, and The Great Plan


After indulging in frobscottle, Sophie and the BFG decide to go to Dream Country. However, they have to sneak past the other nine giants first. The other giants see the BFG and play a game of hot potato with him, throwing him from one giant to the next. The BFG tells Sophie about the different ways the giants like to catch people.

For example, the Meatdripping Giant pretends he is a tree and grabs families who decide to have a picnic under him (77). The Gizzardgulper lies on the roof of a house and grabs people from the street (77). The BFG also mentions that giants do not kill each other, while humans do. He says that humans are the only animal that kill their own kind.

In the next chapter, the BFG and Sophie arrive in Dream Country. They have to be very still in order to catch the dreams, which are invisible and have to be captured in jars. The BFG catches one and is very excited, because it is the best dream he has ever caught - a golden one. Moments later, he catches one of the worst dreams he's ever seen. Sophie peers into the jar and sees that it is an angry thrashing shape, something "between a blob of gas and a bubble of jelly" (85).

When Sophie and the BFG return to Giant Country, all the giants are asleep. The BFG points out that giants sleep very little compared to humans. He decides to take advantage of the giants' nap, and gives the Fleshlumpeater the terrible dream they just caught. The Fleshlumpeater jumps up and tumbles around as he has the nightmare, while Sophie and the BFG watch from a safe distance. The dream is about Jack the giant killer, who is really from the human fairytale Jack and the Beanstalk. The roles are reversed in the giants' mind, with Jack as the mean antagonist who loves to kill giants, instead of the wandering little boy who tries not to get killed by giants. The Fleshlumpeater's thrashing wakes up two other giants, the Meatdripper and the Gizzardgulper, after he accidentally hits them. The giants then all begin to fight.

The BFG labels the two dreams he caught, and describes how he can read music like a "langwitch" (98). He then criticizes humans for not believing in things unless they see them. When Sophie sees how the BFG has labeled his dreams, she realizes again that he cannot read and write very well. He describes the dream that he is labeling. In this dream, the dreamer saves his/her teacher from drowning and is honored by the whole school for his/her bravery.

The BFG shows Sophie some of his other dreams, which includes one where the dreamer puts teachers to sleep by looking at them, one where a boy can walk on the ceiling using suction cups, and one where the President of the US calls to speak with a son, not his father. Others include one where a boy becomes invisible while taking a bath and plays tricks on his family and teacher, and one where the dreamer writes a bestselling novel that no one can put down. The BFG explains that there are different dreams for boys and girls. Sophie begs to see more dreams and the BFG shows her many more.

The BFG shows Sophie that he learned to read from a book he borrowed for eighty years from a little boy to whom he was giving a dream. It is "Nicholas Nickleby" by Charles Dickens, or "Dahl's Chickens," as the BFG says (113). The BFG and Sophie are then interrupted by the noise of the other giants going off to England to eat little boys and girls tonight.

Sophie wants to stop the giants from eating people, but the BFG is worried about people seeing him and then capturing and putting him in a zoo. Sophie suggests that they go to the Queen of England for help. The BFG remains skeptical until Sophie has the idea to make the Queen dream about the giants. Then, when she wakes up and sees Sophie and the BFG, she will be more open to believing them. The BFG reveals that he can cook up any dream for a person - it is just like mixing a cake. Sophie convinces the BFG that they have to make the Queen dream about the giants tonight. After some persuading and after hearing that he would never have to eat another snozzcumber again, the BFG agrees.


The BFG's words and perspective on life begin to make Sophie question her own ideas about the world. The two are becoming even better friends as they run away from the giants again, revel in catching dreams, and discuss big problems such as people killing each other, whether seeing is believing, and what qualifies as being alive.

For example, when Sophie sees the dream in a jar, it looks alive and hungry to her, but the BFG says it doesn't need food. Sophie is still fascinated by the dream and keeps looking at it. She is a very curious girl who continually shows that she is very smart and quick.

We learn more about the BFG and his gentle nature through his approach to life and dreams. He reveals that while he likes humans, he finds them rather silly at times. For example, in how long they sleep.

The BFG also reveals the names of his many giant relatives: the Giazzardgulper, the Bloodbottler, the Meatdripper, the Childchewer, the Fleshlumpeater (89). However, he does not go into any detail as to what they are like. Throughout the whole story, the giants remain uncharacterized brutes who serve as the perfect villains. The other giants have few distinguishing characteristics, other than how they hunt and how tall they are.

The BFG also reveals that he is not a friend of the other giants. While before the reader may have suspected this, now it is confirmed as the BFG blows a nightmare to the Fleshlumpeater, causing him pain.