Classic, Fantasy, Kids Books

Peter Pan–J.M. Barrie

I think I’m Captain Hook.

I was very excited to finally reach this book on my shelf, it has been a long time coming. But then something happened where, as a self-proclaimed child and fancifier of ridiculousness, I’m embarrassed to admit:

I’m an adult.

And I found Peter to be a bit of a dick.

I realize that life as a kid means that you are constantly distracted, things are fleeting, and people come in and out of your life all the time. You are innocent, naïve, and lack people skills most of the time.

But Peter treated people like they are disposable and didn’t matter. All he wanted to do was to play games, didn’t matter who he was playing with or that peoples lives could be in danger. It was to show the carelessness of youth.

I wanted to punch Peter by the end of the book and I sympathized with Captain Hook and his wanting to exact revenge on the juvenile delinquent who cut off his hand and thought it was funny.

Peter seems to be a bit of a psychopath.

Maybe I’m reading a bit too much into it. Or I’m a little sensitive to the underdog.

That would be 100% true since my favourite characters have always been Mr. Darling and Mrs. Darling, and Nana.

The three caretakers left behind to wait and worry.

Most people think Mr. Darling was a bit of a dick too and that Peter is a hero, but I think the hero is the person who works his ass off for his family in spite of having an obvious anxiety disorder and social awkwardness. And Mrs. Darling, for always putting her family first and never giving up on the hope that they would come back to her. Nana, who always worried and took care of her charges even when they treated her like a dumb dog.

I’m empathic by nature, so I felt all the worry, the wonder, the sadness, and the delight of this book. Even as a kid I remember not liking the cartoon Peter Pan because he seemed like a puffed up little twerp in need of a mother of a backhand.

However, I do enjoy his good qualities: Childlike wonder, seeing magic in every day events, and being downright playful in the face of danger.

It was the greatest day ever when I met the “real life” Peter Pan at Disney and we had a good talk and goofing around with my sisters.

But no wonder the kid thought I was a pirate. Because I empathize with the Captain.

Constant vigilance.

peter-pan-j-m-barrie-paperback-cover-art

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