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Term Definition

Since its publication in 1982, the BFG has won several awards. To an extent, this is related to Dahl's broader reputation as a great writer of children's books, including works such as Charlie and the Chocolate Factory and James and the Giant Peach. An especially noteworthy point about the BFG, though, is that it challenges preconceptions: giants are generally portrayed as frightening, whereas the title character here happens to be friendly.

Summary Of The BFG

The BFG (an acronym for "Big Friendly Giant") is a 1982 children's book by British novelist Roald Dahl (1916-1990). Illustrated by cartoonist Quentin Blake, the book expanded on a story first unveiled in one of the author's earlier books: Danny, the Champion of the World (1975).

The story centers on a child, Sophie, who lives in an orphanage with other young girls. One night, she sees a giant blowing bottled dreams into a nearby window. Introducing himself as the Big Friendly Giant (BFG), he takes her to Giant Land, a place that he occupies with other giants. However, he's the only good giant of the tribe. Others, such as the Bloodbottler Giant, feed on small children. 

The BFG takes Sophie to Dream Country to demonstrate his dream-catching abilities, but accidentally catches a nightmare that puts him at odds with the other giants. She urges him to go to the Queen of England to report them, and he agrees to communicate this info to Her Majesty through a nightmare. Confirming this knowledge with Sophie and the BFG, the Queen sends multi-national forces out to Giant Country to take the giants into custody via helicopters. The story ends with the BFG writing a book of these events in a newly built castle with Sophie living in a cottage next door.

Plot and theme of the story

For children, The BFG plot makes the point that looks sometimes deceive; that despite the big and scary appearance of the giant, he's actually a friendly creature. Therefore, the principle that it's wrong to judge others based on their appearance is one of the central themes of this book. 

Another theme running throughout The BFG is the concept that bonds can be made between the most disparate of individuals. Even though Sophie and the giant are worlds apart in terms of size, appearance, and origin, the two form an amazing bond that allows them to triumph over evil.

Furthermore, the story puts forth the message that anyone is capable of doing things good in life, regardless of what's expected based on their place of origin. The giant was born into a tribe of creatures that spread nightmares and eat children, but he chooses not to go down that path; he instead uses his power to spread dreams, befriend a child, and ultimately bring the other giants to justice, like a true literary hero.

The History Of The BFG 

Over the last three decades, The BFG has been consistently popular among children and families as a tale of friendship overcoming differences. In 1989, an animated adaptation aired over Christmas on the U.K.'s ITV network with actors David Jason and Amanda Root providing voices for the two main characters.

Plans for a Hollywood adaptation have been kicking around since 1991, when Paramount was said to be funding a big-budget feature of The BFG. The proposed project had changed hands by 1998, when Robin Williams was being tapped for the titular role. By late 2001, the project had been scooped by Dreamworks with a third rewrite of the script. Fast forward to 2014, Steven Spielberg announced that a motion picture would begin filming within a year for worldwide release in the summer of 2016 with English actor Mark Rylance as the BFG.

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