The responsibility of these children; she does not
The question of whether all service is ultimately selfish has been an ongoing discussion that does not seem to have an end. According to the Oxford Dictionary, service is defined as “the action of helping or doing work for someone” (en.oxforddictionaries.com). Service is defined as being something one does for others; which is selfless. Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children by Ransom Riggs is a thought-provoking fantasy about children who have special abilities, but are being hunted and need to be protected. Miss Peregrine takes responsibility of these children; she does not have her own family and decides to use her motherly instincts to raise and protect these peculiar and very special children. Miss Peregrine is selfless because she engages her motherly instincts for the children by providing them protection from the outside world, providing them with food and shelter, and helps them accept who they are and understand their identity. Providing protection for others is a selfless act, as one is trying to keep others safe. It is almost an instinct for some to put oneself in harms way to protect others. Miss Peregrine provides the peculiar children with protection which is a selfless act. Society has shunned the peculiar children as they are different and now they have been isolated. Miss Peregrine says how peculiar children were “abused and neglected in the most horrific ways” and states how “Something had to be done,” (Riggs 154) so then along with others like her, she created these time loops for peculiars to live in. By keeping them here she protects the children from all the people who have alienated them and could bring them any harm. Not only does Miss Peregrine protect the children from society, she also protects them from the aspects of war that are continuing to tear apart the outside world. Miss Peregrine explains to Jacob how they have been on the island for over a decade or more before the third of September 1940 and says “It wasn’t until that date that we also needed temporal isolation.” (156). On that day, a bomb had struck the home of the peculiar children, destroying it. Miss Peregrine then created the time loop that they inhabit to protect them from it as well as other war threats. Finally, Jacob brings up the idea of the children ever deciding to leave and Miss Peregrine mentions that it is better for them to stay here and not “be caught up in a ferocious war,” or “encounter people who fear and misunderstand then,” (213). That relates back to her protecting them from society and the war but she also says “there are other dangers as well,” (213). By this she is referring to the wights and hollowgasts, which are creatures who want to kill the children. She wants to keep the children at the home where she can protect them from being taken and killed by these monsters. Clearly Miss Peregrine has taken the role of the children’s mother as she protects them from all the dangers of the outside world, making her and her service to these children selfless.Another motherly instinct is providing others with food and shelter. Miss Peregrine provides the peculiar children with food and shelter, which is also a selfless act. At the very beginning of the novel Jacob recalls everything his grandfather had said to him as a child, including the story of the “Welsh children’s home,” that was “designed to keep kids safe,” (13). His grandfather told him about the home which is specifically to keep the children safe; Miss Peregrine has the children here and provides them with this shelter, where she is also able to provide them with food and protect them. Later on in the book, Jacob actually finds the children’s home where Miss Peregrine has been expecting him. She answers all of the questions that he has and then invites him to stay for dinner where the peculiar children bring out the food to a large table where everyone is sitting. Jacob says how “a feast of kingly proportions was revealed,” (165). In the loop Miss Peregrine has brought in a lot of children and must make sure they are all properly fed as well, and by the way Jacob reacts it is clear that there is definitely no shortage of food. It is enough for everyone and Miss Peregrine demonstrates how she is selfless by doing so. Finally, Jacob gets to know the peculiar children as well as how everything works, like the loop. Miss Peregrine meets Jacob alone another time where she tells him that she does not want him to give the children ideas and such about the outside world. By doing so it would make the children want to leave and Miss Peregrine says “this is their home. I have tried to make it as fine a place as I could,” (210).