Peter Pan Sample Essay

Peter Pan is no uncertainty one of the most appealing topics for “deep” psychological analysis. Interpretations of this character tally from the pop-psychology term the “Peter Pan Syndrome” coined by Dr. Dan Kiley ( 1983 ) to mention to adult males who refuse to turn up and confront their duties. through Kenneth Kidd’s ( 2004 ) sociocultural survey of male childs and the ferine narrative which inquiries Peter’s maleness and gender. to his alleged homosexualism which. harmonizing to Dore Ripley ( 2006 ) . reflects Victorian yearnings for Hellenistic homosexual civilization. In our sentiment. nevertheless. these readings are excessively narrow and make non make justness to the narrative as whole. Concentrating on Peter Pan per se offers no apprehension of the narrative itself or of the psychological construction and motive of the other characters. In contrast. analysing the narrative from Wendy’s point of position reveals a whole new mosaic of emotional and psychological kineticss.

At the beginning of the narrative. we meet Wendy at a clip of turbulence in her life. She has been informed by her parents ( stand foring. for our intents. the grownup universe ) that she is excessively old to stay in the baby’s room and must travel into a room of her ain. The move is associated with a scope of developmental and psychological alterations ( both internal and external ) which Wendy must now confront. and which serve as the motivational foundation of the narrative. Wendy does non have the intelligence enthusiastically. to set it mildly. but at the same clip she can non disregard the first marks that she is going a adult female. This phase in her development is reflected non merely in her maternal feelings toward her younger brothers. but even more so in her semi-romantic/sexual phantasies about Peter Pan.

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As we delved deeper into the character and journey of Wendy Darling. we were struck by the analogues between this narrative and Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland ( Lewis Carroll. 1865 ) . In both instances. prepubertal misss set out on an adventuresome pursuit in a universe that affords entree to the imaginativeness and unconscious contents. And in both. they are “proper” immature ladies brought up in the refined ( and hypocritical? ) British tradition of restraint. common sense. and unity. qualities they display laudably when confronted with the underlying lunacy of the experiences they encounter. The fact that their rigorous. extremely disciplined upbringing is a blunt contrast to the blare of bizarre voices around them clearly reinforces their position as the heroines of the narrative.

Unlike the traditional heroines of fairy tales. nevertheless. this differentiation does non deduce from the fortunes of their birth ( they have no royal blood ) . but from their interior strength and personality. Indeed. Wendy and Alice may really good be looks in children’s literature of the outgrowth of the “modern adult female. ” a adult female whose sexual/emotional/psychological individuality is non automatically determined by biological science or line of descent ; instead. she is progressively capable of specifying her ain individuality. As we see it. the topic of female individuality is besides the point at which the two narratives diverge. Whereas Lewis Carroll chooses non to cover with this issue. go forthing the inquiry of Alice’s definition of herself as a adult female outside the range of the narrative. James Barrie. and even more so the Disney film. take Wendy on a profound journey of find that reveals modern and postmodern contents associating to the definitions of sex and gender.

The frame narration of Peter Pan takes topographic point in early twentieth century London and presents the realistic characters of Wendy’s parents. Mr. and Mrs. Darling. her brothers John and Michael. and the household Canis familiaris. Nana. In contrast. the narrative within the narrative. Wendy’s journey in Neverland with her brothers. is a phantasy that is non capable to the Torahs of clip and topographic point and is populated by a wealth of fanciful and semi-imaginary figures. By traveling between the universes of world and imaginativeness. the narrative construction creates suspense. simulates internal and external procedures in the two universes. and provides a sense of sarcasm and irony. since it is the “realistic” characters who appear to be grotesque while the “imaginary” figures. impossible though they may be. look much more reliable. Wendy’s journey of adolescence touches on the most basic issues of individuality ( sex and gender ) as she wends her manner among a battalion of options ( characters ) . some of which draw on nonsubjective societal stuffs and others on subjective unconscious contents in her personality.

On the surface. there appears to be no uncertainty as to Wendy’s sexual and gender individuality. She is a miss and older sister whose gender and biological individualities are one and the same. She exhibits maternal inherent aptitudes toward her younger brothers and the Lost Boys. and is captivated by manifestations of female beauty and muliebrity ( she is excited by Mrs. Darling’s elegant gown. Tinker Bell’s brave muliebrity. and the temptingness of the mermaids. and is covetous of Tiger Lily’s imperial feminine character ) . At the same clip. as a kid of the coevals of the “modern adult female. ” she inquiries ( albeit non consciously ) the genuineness of the male and female traits presented in the narrative.

Mr. and Mrs. Darling

As stated above. Peter Pan is the narrative of female adolescence ( the transition from childhood to maturity ) which takes topographic point in a period of passage from perceptual experiences rooted in the “old order” ( represented by Wendy’s parents ) to the universe of the “modern woman” ( represented by Wendy. Tinker Bell. and Tiger Lily ) . The prostration of the old order is inevitable. as the psychological upsets and deformations it brought about can no longer be ignored. The lip service. fake. and most particularly deficiency of genuineness displayed by Wendy’s parents is disgracefully evident to their girl. and while there is no uncertainty as to their dedication to her. it is mostly misconceived. Such parents are incapable of supplying their girl with the psychological and emotional nutriment she needs as she sets out on the route to adolescence.

Mrs. Darling is the incarnation of the “ideal woman” by all the sociocultural criterions of her clip. She does non work outside the place. but instead devotes herself to her family and kids. is governed by the will of her hubby. and displays the restraint and manners of an English lady. It shortly becomes clear. nevertheless. that something is amiss behind this all right societal facade of flawlessness. Her operation as a female parent ( to state nil of her maternal judgement ) must be called into inquiry by the fact that she relegates the function of nanny to the household Canis familiaris. There may besides be uncertainties about her operation as a married woman. since it is based chiefly on an attitude of entry or a instead maternal indulgence toward her hubby. It would therefore look that Mrs. Darling is. in consequence. a deformed and unauthentic version of the “proper girl” who grew up to go an English “lady. ” a function Wendy is besides expected to steal into effortlessly and without protest.

Mr. Darling is no less superficial and grotesque than his married woman. and even more infantile than she. Like Wendy’s female parent. he is the merchandise of sociocultural norms and outlooks. a fact which might look to portend good. He is an English gentleman. loyal to the rules of jurisprudence and order. a married adult male with three kids who conscientiously provides for his household. Within his place. nevertheless. he displays non a individual illustration of mature responsible behaviour. He pours his day-to-day dosage of medical specialty into Nana’s bowl. is covetous of his children’s fondness for the Canis familiaris and accordingly chains her up outside. and after fighting unsuccessfully to bind his tie decently. he becomes defeated and throws a temper fit like a small male child. Ironically. it is Mr. Darling who insists on regard from his married woman and kids as the male caput of the family. and when he does non have it. he unhesitatingly invokes the authorization and power he holds by virtuousness of his societal and household position ( instead than by virtuousness of his mature personality ) . He demands that Wendy “grow up” overnight. and forces his married woman to follow with his will on this and other issues.

Wendy’s parents are non function theoretical accounts. and decidedly non characters that can be identified with and internalized. Mrs. Darling is so anaemic. so missing in imaginativeness and passion. that even Nana appears to be a better illustration of a maternal figure. It is copiously clear ( both to her girl and to the readers/audience ) that Wendy’s female parent has nil to offer her that will be of aid on her journey of adolescence. Mr. Darling is presented as no less pathetic than his married woman. His behaviour is infantile. and he is so emotionally distant and detached that his kids might every bit good be orphans. At this clip in Wendy’s life. the deficiency of a male parent figure who appreciates and encourages the assorted facets of muliebrity. first of all in his married woman but besides in his girl. is critical. In our sentiment. Peter Pan deals with the far-reaching deductions of a father’s emotional absence on a girl’s life. peculiarly in the context of her hunt for sexual and gender individuality. This is non meant to take away in any manner from the significance of the female parent in female adolescence. a topic discussed elsewhere ( Rakover-Atar. 2002 ; Rakover & A ; Noy. 2006 ) . However. we believe that less accent is placed in this narrative on the deficiency of a female function theoretical account than on the absence of a male parent figure.

Within the permeant ambiance of pretence and inauthenticity falsifying her universe. Wendy must happen her alone voice. She must put out on a pursuit to detect her ain “loyalties. ” her natural nature. and the characteristics of her personality ( feminine/masculine and others ) with which she identifies. From this position. the narrative within the narrative may be seen as a dream-like phase occupied by characters that represent Wendy’s unconscious contents and properties.


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