Every youth should see at least see one of the many renditions of the J.M. Barrie’s Peter Pan. Plays, movies and animated shows tried to depict the closest interpretation of the author. Some might not have been as good as it was expected, but there are definitely good ones. In the end, one can be assured of this: Peter Pan is a child’s dream and an adult’s past.
Neverland is that place in Barrie’s fiction wherein children will never grow up and adults are not as acceptable. It is a place of every child’s fantasy: pirates and mermaids—life is a constant adventure without rules. Parents are not allowed there because it was said that they are the ones who instigate the rules. Having rules are not fun at all. To have parents there, they would feel constrained and they wouldn’t enjoy the joy and wonders of Neverland. They would be corrupt, like the pirates. They would want to take over what was for everyone, instead of sharing and constantly having happy thoughts. Dreams would turn sour and smiles would arc the other way.
In this regard, when Mrs. Darling was depicted to “tidy up” the minds of her children, perhaps she was asking her children to grow up, to be mature and to always take responsibility of their actions. Perhaps this was not the best idea. As many other children across the globe, when parents attempt to do this, they are asking their children to drop those dreams and take part in the “real” world. Unfortunately, the real world is full of war, hate and sorrow—elements children should not be exposed to just yet. It destroys their childhood, which could permanently damage their lives.
When we take into account what the implication of “tidying up” the minds of the children could lead to—ideas of pain, hate and hunger—then perhaps one could say that parents have been successful in doing so. I believe that every child will eventually grow up into an adult. Experience will be their teacher in attaining knowledge and wisdom. Maybe Mrs. Darling should be let her children grow for their own, instead of rushing them.
Adults fear Neverland but children don’t. Children could be careless in nature. However, by being careless with the things they do, they learn what is good or wrong. They learn by being with others, and playing games with them. Adults don’t want to go back to that because they have the idea that being careless could lead to disasters . They have become too cautious versus being adventurous. There exists the underlying fear of getting hurt. Adults should not be scared because it is part of growing up. The children are not the only ones who grow up because it is not a matter of age but of the lessons they learned along the way.
Being a child, when we play and laugh with friends, we forget about time. We are as carefree as we can be. Children don’t think about other matters except to have as much fun as possible. They are truly naïve but they have a lofty spirit. But Peter Pan has little memory because although he is always having fun, that is all he has. With this, his nature is to be naturally carefree. He is not bothered by politics or society.
On the other hand, every child has his fears. Since Peter Pan does not grow old, when his other companions do, he would be alone and lonely. When he found a different kind of bond with Wendy, he feared that she would leave and forget about him. But Wendy chose to grow up on her accord. Perhaps his fear was to be a mere memory they could simply let go to be replaced by more “realistic” issues in their society.
All children can fly, but not all in the physical sense. It is not by simply thinking about happy thoughts. Since being a child have a carefree nature, they don’t usually have problems. If they do have problems, they chose not to think too much about it. Being able to fly, I believe does not have to age specific because being child-like does not choose age. It is all in the mind. It is not merely being naïve. It is also about not being too judgmental of others. Perhaps that could be included in the criteria of flying, in the context of the novel. When people learn to be just, unbiased and carefree then they are flying.
Barrie, J. M. (2008). Peter Pan. Retrieved March 28, 2008 from http://www.literatureproject.com/peter-pan/index.htm.