Table of Contents
Peter pan is eternally young. He does not change and is timeless. He is always the same age. He does not grow but on the contrary, he enjoys the wonder of being young fully. Though he was born so long ago, he has by no means had a birthday. He says that ‘’If growing up means it would be beneath my dignity to climb a tree, I’ll never grow up, never grow up, never grow up! Not me’’ (Barrie 67). He believes that ‘’All children, except one, grow up’’ (Barrie 37), and that is Peter pan. He escaped from being a human being when he was one week old. The play opens in the household of darling family.
The Darling family consists of five, Darling, her husband, and their three children. They live in Bloomsbury, London. They are somewhat impoverished but they employ a house help, Nana. As the parents prepare to leave for dinner, Nana is putting the youngest of the three children to bed. The eldest child is called Wendy; the youngest one is called Michael, and the other John. Peter pan visits the nursery of the darling family and entices Wendy, John and Michael away to Neverland. They all forget home as they enter into a dreamlike existence. They even forget who they were before they arrived at Neverland. Neverland is an imaginary place that each individual child is lured to away from home.
Everyone longs for immortality. No one wants to age or die. The problem that we fail to see is that of changelessness. Peter pan is not about being eternally young but that lack of purpose in being that. The problem comes up in being young forever. Though we desire not to change, we also have an eternal yearning to become something new. This creates a conflict in our desires. We desire the safety that is found only at home but we have a strong urge to run away from home and never come back. Neverland is not a single idea. Peter pan is neither a boy nor a girl but is somewhere between the two. The play itself is meant for both adults and children. Peter pan is a story of a dead boy who did not die. For one to completely comprehend Peter pan, we should open the window of imagination and be like him. The other aspect brought out in the book is the issue of being heartless. Most children are innocent, carefree, self-centered and heartless. Children portray these characters. In order for one to grow and embrace the immortality that we desire, we should become better each day. We should learn, grow and change. Each new day should be better than the previous.
She is the central protagonist in the story. She is pretty and has soft features, blond hair and twinkling eyes. She is proud of being a child and resents adulthood. She resents being an adult through the example given by her father. The father is given to fits of rage. At an early age, she begins to figure out how to avoid growing up. She gets this opportunity when peter pan takes her to Neverland. He tells her to forget everything and follow him to a place where she will never have to worry about grown up things again. This keeps Wendy wondering ‘’ Never is such a very long time’’ (Barrie 62) In Neverland, one can remain young forever. The experiences at Neverland only cause her to think more of being an adult.
The lost boys who dwell in Neverland and Peter want her to play the role of a mother to them. They want her to carry out domestic tasks for them. She begins to accept virtues associated with adulthood. Finally, she accepts the fact that she cannot continue postponing maturity and returns to London. She represents a young mother figure. She finally captures the interest of Peter pan. Sex roles are clearly portrayed in Peter pan. Peter lures Wendy to Neverland with the intension of making her a mother to himself and the lost boys. She expects Wendy to tell them stories as her own mother tells to her. Peter will not accept being the father unless if he is only pretending to be one.
Peter pan, tinker Bell, and the lost boys lived in a fictional world called Neverland. The adventures occur at Neverland. A group of lost boys pursues various adventures. These involve pirates and fairies. Neverland is the location for the underground home and Wendy’s house. Not everyone in Neverland ceased to grow, its only Peter Pan who is used metaphorically for eternal childhood did. Ideally, Neverland is imagined, it is found in the mind mostly of children. It is mostly imagined as an island. Neverland vary from one child to another. For illustration, John darlings’ Neverland is a lagoon with lots of flamingos flying over it. Michael darlings’ ‘’had a flamingo with flamingos flying over it’’ (Barrie 107).
Adventures in Neverland are not far between which shows that it is a compact island. It portrays that in a child’s mind there are no boundaries. Peter pan led the darlings’ siblings to Neverland flying ‘’second star to the right, and straight on until morning’’ (Barrie 20). Peter created the directions to impress Wendy. The truth is that they arrived at Neverland because it was looking for them. Passage of time in Neverland is portrayed ambiguously. The presence of more suns and moons than those in our world makes time impossible to track. Time becomes of little importance as when you arrive at Neverland.
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Personality of Peter pan
Peter pan is an exaggerated boastful, careless, selfish boy. He boasts easily and tells of how great he is but often the greatness is questionable. He congratulates himself for the success of Wendy reattaching his shadow. He is fearless when it comes to dangerous situations, he has a devil may care attitude. He is ignorant of the danger of death. He is ‘’blissfully unaware of the tragedy of death’’ (Barrie 102). He thinks that ‘’to die will be a very big adventure’’. He often flies through open windows at great heights, which also illustrates his attitude towards fear. Psychologically, we can characterize him as having social and sexual problems. He is immature and a narcissist. His attributes include irresponsibility, rebellion, dependency, manipulating others and a crazy belief that he is above everything and everyone. He is an adult little boy who still yearns for motherly love. He is in either a relationship or seeking one.
One aspect illustrated in the case of peter pan is the rising cultural attention to the difference between in adults and children. The story though a century old echoes these differences. Peter returns to Wendy years later and she confirms to him that he is too childish. He is also childishly self-absorbed to even recognize this. She tells him ‘’I am old Peter; I am ever so much more than twenty. I grew up long ago’’. Peter decides to teach her to fly by sprinkling of the fairy dust. Instead, she asks her not to. She says ‘’O Peter, do not waste the fairy dust on me’’ (Barrie 75). This clearly brings out the great difference between children and children. ‘’There is a saying in the Neverland that, every time you breathe, a grown-up dies."