Tony Grist (poliphilo) wrote,
Tony Grist

Notes On Peter Pan

I read Peter Pan in Kensington Gardens for the sake of completeness. It's the foundation document. Barrie is still feeling his way. This Peter isn't the Peter we know, but a lost boy, even a lost baby. He hangs out with the birds and the fairies and isn't even tempted to kill people. Sweetness predominates. 

Ailz watched the latest film version of Peter Pan. She tells me Peter gets redeemed at the end by Wendy's "special kiss". Arrgh! Ugh! Hollywood shouldn't be allowed within spitting distance of Barrie. 

Peter turns up in the Lost Boys underground lair toting a game bag. He says it contains the heads of two tigers and a pirate. Wendy takes a peek and tells him, "They are beauties". 

Heads in bags? When Sam Peckinpah tried it in a movie for adults people were revolted. Call it a play for children and we'll swallow any degree of horror...

Peter is a psychopath. He kills people and then forgets all about them. He forgets Hook. Hook isn't the villain of the piece. Who needs a villain when Peter himself is so purely evil? Hook is Peter's soul-mate- a Peter who has gone through an Eton education without losing his childish psychopathy (a bit like David Cameron in fact: sorry, topical joke: couldn't resist). Barrie invites us to love evil (in Peter and Hook).  

Actually, "evil" is the wrong word. Barrie doesn't use it. He prefers "innocence".
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