One of my favorite stories growing up was Peter Pan. I remember thumbing through the kids books at my Grandma Wanden's house in search of the fairy-tale each time I went to visit her. Although graphics and color always attract a child to a book, I think it was more than that for me. Sure, the pictures were intriguing, but it was the story that held my interest… the story of adventure on a make-believe island with a peculiar boy and his faerie friend.

Peter Pan is still a magical tale even now. When the movie came out-in 2001 I think- I was excited to see it. It follows the real tale a little better than the Disney version even though it does make some creative alterations. But it was when I watched this show that my analytical eye went to work. I started to see how things connect, at least in my investigative perception, and noted symbolism that I hadn't realized was there before. It made me delve into research about the tale- to see what others thought about it. It wasn't until I had a discussion with my sister-in-law, Omi, when I thought that maybe I was making some sense with what I saw.

A thing that stood out was the connection Peter Pan had to Neverland. When he was gone, the world went into a sort of hibernation. When he was sad or tormented, the weather changed into billowing black clouds and storm. The author, Barrie, states that the although Never Land appears different to every child, the island 'wakes up' when Peter returns from his trip to London. So that made me think- how was Peter and Neverland connected like that? After all, he was just like the Lost Boys… he came there from the normal world like everyone else. The only thing different between he and his little followers was that Tinkerbell befriended him and the others believed he was their leader.

Researchers believe that the Peter Pan tale is a Totenkindergeschichte which is a German term for “tales of the death of children.” In the classic Peter and Wendy, Barrie states that the Peter Pan tale Mrs. Darling heard as a child was that when children died, Peter would accompany them part of the way to their destination so that they wouldn't be scared. Why would Peter Pan be a tale of death? Is Neverland where Lost Souls go to rather than Lost Boys? Did those souls follow Peter to Neverland rather than continue on to Heaven? If this is so, then is Neverland a sort of limbo?

Peter Pan is the epitome of being a kid- goofing off and laughing in the face of danger. He battles Captain Hook who is the very essence of adulthood. Of course kids these days want to be an adult because they think it's fun. But when they reach a certain age, the come to the realization that it was great fun being a kid and often want to return to the 'easier days'. Peter, on the brink of change himself, is constantly in combat with the roguish captain- battling age.

There are many more things in Peter Pan that raise an eyebrow but this is what makes it a great story. Aside from all the hidden messages, the great adventure of going to an imaginative world to see mermaids, Indians and pirates can't go wrong. It's Faeries, Ariel and Captain Jack Sparrow all wrapped in one-- how could this not be good?

2 comments:

WOW, I never thought of that story that way. How very interesting.

My Dear Authors! Very well written! Kudos!! Exciting and I learned a new word and concept: Totten/Kinder/Gurr/Schick/Tah! Amazing! thank God for phonics and thank God for the two of you. Your amalgamation proves that women can work more easily together than men, i cite: Gilbert and Sullivan. On a Carl Jungian level, I would say that Barrie was not even consciously aware of all the deep symbolism you have correctly found; I believe Barrie was just drawing from the common pool of universal archetypes, but he certainly struck a resounding chord because Peter Pan, born in printer book form, would be 101 years old in 2012. Happy Birthday, Peter! thanks, Women, for writing so well and for passing on the torch of writing to a new generation. please visit my blog spot if you ever have the time. Best regards and happy holidays
ahead! GREGG OREO www.greggoreo.blogspot.com

About Us

We have a diverse, combined writing experience. I am a middle school English teacher and an administrator and co-administrator for various writing groups. Trisha is a freelance writer, editor, and online educator whose fiction appears in FANTASY GAZETTEER. Together we co-authored "Party Crashers” for the EPPIE award winning anthology BAD ASS FAERIES 2: JUST PLAIN BAD.

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