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A Sad Picture of the Late 19th Century Society
am 9. Juli 2014
As we all know, Peter Pan is set in London and Neverland. Neverland is a special place that looks different for every child. Barrie compares its map to the map of a child’s mind. As far as setting goes, the description of Neverland is the most outstanding part of this novel. I also like how Barrie writes about the Lost Boys having to find the right hollow tree stump as a personal entryway into their underground home.
But now, the truth will be revealed: Our main character, famous Peter Pan, is an unlikeable, selfish fellow. I really came to hate him. And Wendy isn’t much better, because she just doesn’t get that Peter is using her. She is a very naive little girl who desperately wants to be a wife and a mother. The only characters I did like are the Lost Boys. They are a lot of fun to be around and remind me of a real bunch of boys quarrelling and having fun. Of course, all this doesn’t mean that J. M. Barrie was a bad writer, it just means that I grew up with a different version of Peter Pan and it’s hard for me to adjust to the harsh reality.
The first half of Peter Pan actually is so boring I was thinking of quitting the book. I am, however, not a quitter, so I read on and it did get better. You should know that this book is very different from what you see in the 1953 Disney movie. Neverland isn’t a shiny happy place with a couple of silly pirates causing trouble. It’s cruel. And Peter is too. So don’t read this book to small children. What Peter Pan does is, it gives a good impression of late 19th, early 20th century views on women and of what was expected of little boys and girls. So read it if you are interested in that, or if you want to score more points on all those 100-books-you-should-read lists.