Peter Pan Analysis

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The story of Peter Pan is one that has captured the hearts of children and adults alike. It is the tale of a boy who never wanted to grow up; who’s magical world of adventures, pirate fighting, and freedom to live without responsibility has deemed his tale to be considered “children’s literature’. However, what causes a book to be considered good literature for children? In this essay, I will analyze the story of Peter Pan, how different themes within the book can relate to children, and how parents and teachers can use these themes to teach their own children valuable lessons. In order to analyze J.M. Barrie’s tale, we must first gain a general understanding of the story and time period in which it was written. Peter Pan functions as a typical fairy tale of the late 19th century. The story offers an escape from the overly mechanical, alienating world of Victorian London into a magical world of nature, while at the same time reinforcing the societal norms that shaped Victorian society in the first place. Peter attempts to escape from the life planned for him by his mother, and runs away as an infant to live with the fairies in Kensington Park. Years later, Wendy, John, and Michael join him in his Neverland. And although Peter deliberately rejects the idea of family and responsibility as a baby, he ends up recreating the very same world in which he escaped. He becomes a father, Wendy the mother, and the Lost Boys become their children. While Peter does everything he can to deny his ‘manhood’ and stay a boy forever, Wendy embraces her womanhood, and is a strong mother figure throughout the story. The norms however of a woman during this time were quite clear, as a housekeeper and a mother. Throughout their time in Neverland, among pirates, Indians, and mystical creatures such as fairies and mermaids, the children have countless adventures - similar to those they

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