“Searching for Neverland” is an analysis of Peter Pan from J.M. Barrie’s classic children’s tale Peter and Wendy. I examine the character of Peter Pan and how he is an example of a tragic character because he lacks development and chooses to remain an eternal child.
I draw connections to Pan and its author, Barrie. Peter Pan mirrors Barrie’s life and his psychological needs and desires. Barrie suffered great loss in his life. His brother died at age 14 after a skating accident. His mother found solace in the fact that her favorite son would remain a little boy forever. Barrie would then take to imitating his deceased brother’s mannerisms and voice. Later in life Barrie met the Llewellyn Davies family to which the five Davies’ boys would be the inspiration of Peter Pan.
Barrie’s writing is sentimental and emotional and shows in his Pan story. A tragic character invokes sympathy in the audience and is doomed or flawed in some manner. On the surface Pan symbolizes all that is innocent in a child, daring and adventurous, but he is also cocky and selfish and Neverland is his escape from reality and growing to adulthood and facing adult emotions and situations.
I look at what scholars have said in comparison to Barrie’s life and experiences and Pan’s character and have revealed parallels between the two. While Pan reads as a child’s tale it is riddled with adult subtleties and themes. that makes the analysis unique and thought provoking.
- Event date
25 March 2016
- Date submitted
18 July 2022