Peter Pan: Part III

Bits and fragments from my midterm paper…that I didn’t end up using.

1. To begin with, the settings and activities at the Darling’s nursery at first seem normal enough, except that the Darling children are nursed by a dog. The personification of animals is a common aspect characterizing tales of the fantastical, and Nana’s abilities certainly exceed our expectations of a usual canine. As a dog, Nana performs childrearing duties and possesses a wide range of emotions and evident (though limited) human intelligence—something that seems totally illogical given the realistic setting of the novel. This is contrasted by the frequent occurrences and repeated talks of mundane, household matters on Neverland. Many aspects of the home seem to have travelled with the Darling children to this magical place. For instance, Wendy insists on performing the role of a mother and interrupts the fantastical adventure with motherly reminders such as urging the Lost Boys to nap despite the imminent danger. [QUOTE] It is evident that the two locations, both the realistic and the fantastical, are never truly separate, and are connected by notions and conventions of home as well as elements of magic.

2. The universal absence of mothers on Neverland: the fact that a female adult does not exist on Neverland seems to indicate the mutual lackness of a mother and the perpetual yearning of mothers. Neverland is basically a representation of childhood, as it contains many elements of childhood such as fantastical adventures and feats such as flying and general absence of adults ,with the exception of Captain Hook and his pirate thugs. If Barrie seeks to represent childhood with the construction of Neverland, then he seems to suggest that for maternal love and care stands as a distinguishing feature of childhood. This yearning is shared by nearly all characters on Neverland—including Captain Hook and his pirate thugs, as he has once expressed his wish to kidnap Wendy so that the pirates can have a mother. In this manner, childhood is not simply a physical state but a mental/emotional state that exists within an individual regardless of age—since the pirates are obviously grown men. However, this representation of childhood seems to exclude girls, as “lost girls” do not exist on Neverland.

Of course, perhaps it is understandable if the societal expectations towards boys are examined. After all, girls are expected to follow a very specific path as they grow up: their general upbringing prepares them for the role of a wife and a mother in marriage. In a way, it is impossible for a girl to get lost in life. On the other hand, society expects boys to individualize and forge their own paths—and when they are astray and without proper guidance, they arrive at Neverland—a place where they never grow up mentally and emotionally –and may never leave it. We must keep in mind that it has been Wendy who guides the Lost Boys out of Neverland, this perpetual state of childhood similar to a mental and emotional limbo. As for girls? Girls grow up to be wives and mothers, and that is why there are no grown women on Neverland.

3. Neverland radiates a sense of timelessness, and memory is very tricky here. For one, Peter engages Captain Hook each time as if meeting him for the first time, with no prior knowledge or memory of his opponent. Quote: every child remembers the first time he is treated unfairly. The fact that Peter still suffers from unfairness despite having fought Hook countless of times before underlines his disposition of childhood and emotional limbo. He never matures enough to understand unfairness.  He is never fully a child because of what he has gone through, yet he is forever, and ever a child and thusly he shall remain.

still haven’t got to Tinker Bell. Roar~~! I shall write a post dedicated to her. Indeed I shall.