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Peter Pan: "All children, except one, grow up"

Október 2010

This essay compares and contrasts the character of Peter Pan in two works, Peter Pan in Kensington Gardens and the play Peter Pan, and raises the question of what J. M. Barrie intended with his creation of Peter Pan and particularly his transformation of the character and his removal of Peter Pan from the original context of The Little White Bird into a novel and later into a play. Chapter one introduces the Kensington Gardens Peter and argues that what Barrie truly meant to do with his creation of Peter Pan was to speak to those parents who had experienced the loss of their children. Chapter two is in two parts, first to introduce and discuss the Peter from the play and compare him to the original Kensington Gardens Peter, but most importantly to introduce the Peter who cannot be touched and the idea that Barrie envisioned him as the embodiment of childhood. It also discusses some of the possible reasons for the transformation of the character. The second part focuses on the relationship between Peter Pan and Captain Hook on the one hand and between Peter Pan and Wendy on the other and how the interpretation of these relationships changes if Peter Pan is simply an illusion, an embodiment of youth and joy. Furthermore, although it is possible to analyze Peter Pan without linking him to some of the events in J. M. Barrie’s personal life it deeply enhances our understanding of the character to know a little of the author’s biography. Therefore chapter three briefly discusses the personal life of Barrie and some of the events that were clearly the focal point in the creation of Peter Pan.


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