Monday, November 4, 2013

Peter Pan Part 4: Peter Pan and Mothers (and Jack Frost)

 "Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights with whom there is no variation or shadow due to change."~James 1:17~

I know I should be writing in my Nano novel... but...  I felt like writing this post instead.
Peter Pan was first a play.  Then J M Barrie put it into a book with more details put in, and the book was called "Peter and Wendy" instead of Peter Pan.  There is a picture of what the book looked like below. (:  And if you want a better look, you can always google it.  I googled "picture of first edition of Peter and Wendy."

What I love about the book is that there is so much in it that is only casually mentioned as if it was common knowledge about Neverland, when we really don't know that much.
I feel like chasing after the writer and saying, "Tell me more!  Please!  I want to understand this!"
Oh well.  He's dead.  Maybe I'll see him in heaven.  Hopefully...  And NO I didn't mean to sound funny.

I suppose in that way J. M. Barrie was like a child.  In the book, it says this:
"Children have the strangest adventures without being troubled by them.  For instance, they may remember to mention, a week after the event happened, that when they were in the wood they had met their dead father and had a game with him."  Even though it's funny, it's true.  While we are young, everything seems to be happening at once, and sometimes we forget to speak up because something takes the place of the thought we had.
J. M. Barrie writes simply and doesn't go into a lot of detail.  I mean, he says many things that weren't in the movies based off of the book, but he doesn't go into detail in these except sometimes.  Like here:
"It is the nightly custom of every good mother after her children are asleep to rummage in their minds and put things straight for next morning... It is quite like tidying up drawers.  You would see her... lingering... wondering where on earth you had picked this thing up... pressing this to her cheek as if it were as nice as a kitten, and hurriedly stowing that out of sight.  When you wake in the morning, the naughtiness and evil passions with which you went to bed have been folded up small and placed at the bottom of your mind; and on the top, beautifully aired, are spread out your prettier thoughts, ready for you to put on." (I tried to edit out as much as I could, as it's a long passage near the beginning of the book.)
When I first read this, it seemed like a very sweet thought, like the stories of the Tooth Fairy.  And nowhere in the movies does it mention this habit of all mothers, this legend J. M. Barrie created, of mothers who tidy up their children's minds.
I admire the movie Hook, which serves as a sequel to the story, because they throw in such a lot of references to the book!
I enjoy the movie adaptation from 2003 (I posted the soundtrack of it in last post) because of its nostalgia feel and because... well... I'll have to get to that in my last post, which will be about both Cinderella and Peter Pan.  For now...

"When you play at it (Neverland) by day with the chairs and tablecloth, it is not in the least alarming, but in the two minutes before you go to sleep it becomes very nearly real.  That is why there are night-lights."  I have a feeling the night-lights are like guards.  I'd love to find out if the night-lights mean anything.  They are mentioned maybe three or four different times in the book.  -- If you think of something, comment below! --  They are "the eyes a mother leaves behind to watch over her children."  A little creepy and yet sweet, in different ways.  Another legend made to make a child feel safe when the night-light is lit.
Here, when the mother and her children are all asleep in the room, something happens.
"Look at the four of them, Wendy and Michael over there, John here, and Mrs. Darling by the fire.  There should have been a fourth night-light."
When I got to this part, I was very much intrigued.  What was to happen?

I don't like that people sometimes compare Peter Pan to a kidnapper, a stalker, a creeper, whatever.  He's the spirit of innocence, not a murderer!  Of course he is cocky, but he is a gentleman, and "he would never keep a lady in Neverland against her will."
Now he may have been terribly clever without knowing it, for he's like that, and sometimes of course he is selfish.  For instance, after telling him the end of Cinderella and he wants to go, Wendy says this,  
"'Don't go, Peter,' she entreated, 'I know such lots of stories.'  Those were her precise words, so there can be no denying that it was she who first tempted him.  He came back, and there was a greedy look in his eyes now which ought to have alarmed her, but did not.  'Oh, the stories I could tell to the boys!' she cried, and then Peter gripped her and began to draw her toward the window."
I don't blame Wendy for giving Peter the idea to take her with him.  But she even goes on after he already has got the idea in his head!  I don't think she quite knew what was happening.  Sometimes when we're young, we really don't care.

And so Peter asks her to come with him and gives several reasons why.  I always got excited at this part, not so afraid, because I know Peter Pan isn't bad, but excited that he wanted a female friend who would tell him stories.  I could tell him stories myself if only he came.  But then, I've met him many times in my dreams, too many to count now, ever since I was eleven or twelve.  And perhaps those dreams really happened and my mind was made fuzzy so I couldn't remember well. (:  Maybe I'll write him a story. 

When I first saw the trailer and then movie for Rise of the Guardians, I felt like Jack Frost was just like Peter Pan but an older teenage version.  I suppose that explains why my hoody that's blue like Jack Frost's is my favorite, and why I'm wearing it now without meaning to.  By the way, The Rise of the Guardians is based on a book series, and I have read the first two books and they carry a sort of Neverland-ish nostalgia that's very sweet and I recommend them.  All this time I thought Nightlight in the books was the original Jack Frost and that the movie people had changed the story a lot, BUT I WAS WRONG and I'm so happy because we haven't met Jack Frost yet in the book series Guardians of Childhood and that excites me a lot.  Did you know the author of the series actually got to do some of the art for the movie based off the series?  I thought that was cool.  He does the illustrations in the books himself.  Anyway... back to Peter Pan.

Unlike the Disney version, in the book, Peter Pan does know what a mother is.  He goes on to tell Wendy that she could tuck them in at night and that they had never been tucked in before, and that she could sew their clothes.  Wendy is very excited and wants to do these things.  These things are very motherly like.  This is another bit of evidence that Peter really does want a mother though he himself doesn't think so.

Peter Pan came to listen to Mrs. Darling's stories, not Wendy's stories, as Disney would have you believe.  He listened to the story of Cinderella but didn't get to hear it all.  he was very anxious to know what happened to the lady who couldn't be found by the prince.  This is all evidence that Peter did want a mother, or to grow up, though he was sure he didn't.  All this is in the book.

Sometimes Mr. Barrie points stuff out to us that otherwise we wouldn't have noticed.  And I should stop for now.  :)  Good night.  Perhaps Peter Pan will visit our dreams.  See ya later!


  1. Wonderful post, as always! Anyway, I was wondering if you might want to participate in a Blog Tour that I'm doing. All you have to do is answer the questions that I'm going to publish on my blog today, and then tag another blogger. I would love to hear what you have to say. Thanks!


  2. Sure! I'm sorry I didn't do the last one...

  3. That's OK. Just check out my latest post, and answer the same questions in your next post:) Thank you!

  4. Oh wow, that's a beautiful first edition!
    Lovely post. =) I have all sorts of comments rushing around in my mind but they are mostly fluff and have floated away by now... Sigh, off to do math now!