Tuesday, June 30, 2009


Sometimes it’s fun to look at other interpretations of a story.
And there are at least three fascinating views of Peter Pan.
I’m not suggesting that these are intended. Nor implied.
I don’t believe any of these notions are actually correct.
Just that a different lens can be used to look at it, which produces some freaky results.
(One of these I mentioned a long while back.)

In no actual ranked order of importance:

“Drug” Pan
This one is almost too easy. And hackneyed. But not to mention it wouldn’t seem right. Fly high with fairy dust. Go to a magical land of adventure but don’t get Hook-ed. See? Too easy.

Nosferatu Pan
He flies. He doesn’t age. He lives forever. He comes to your window at night. Sound familiar? It should. Peter’s got many of the makings of a vampire. (See the next category down, as well.) The story doesn’t follow all vampyric mythos, though. Such as having to be invited to come inside - Peter comes in anyway. And he also crosses running water of rivers and streams. As far as I know, he shows up in the mirror. But in general, he sounds quite like one of Dracula’s minions, no?

Dead Pan
In the play, Peter says that no one must ever touch him. No actual answer as to why is given except that he doesn’t know, but no one can do it.* (This aspect dropped out of the novel and he is in fact touched.) What can be made of the idea? Well, we can link it to the fact that when living in Kensington Gardens one of Peter’s jobs had been to take children who have died partway to heaven so they would not be frightened. (This bit of the story, mind you, remains in the novel and is attributed to the memory of Mrs. Mary Darling.) Could it be because he has already gone all the way and back again? Is the Neverland a purgatory? We all know Peter Pan doesn’t age. Could it be because he is dead? Thus, he can fly as a ghost. And ghosts cannot be touched. Hmmm.

How about you?
Can you think of another wild analysis?

Space Pan

*Side note: In the Peter Pan: Kensington Gardens production, they bring in this line . And yet… he is touched afterward. Sort of...! They add some lines. Wendy calls him on it and he replies, “Oh, I never said I couldn’t touch you. But you can’t touch me.” (Probably paraphrased.) I rather enjoyed this tweak.


Anonymous said...

I have a rather wild analysis--it's kind of science-fictiony. Peter Pan is an interdimensional being, able to travel into any part of space and time he chooses to. The space part of that explains how he appears to fly, and the time part explains how he appears not to age. I don't mean he really DOES age, but he's like a photon--existing in all times but not aging at all. This being the case his memory is screwed up, and he has no concept of morality because he's the offspring of the universe itself, which is amoral. But this is why he's an outsider and can't belong anywhere--because he fits EVERYWHERE.

I know it's crazy, but I think it's interesting.... The idea came from the line about him being a "Betwixt-and-Between." I thought, what if he's literally "betwixt-and-between" EVERYTHING?

Peter said...

Bravo! I'm quite impressed. Thanks for thinking it up and sharing. You've really got something there. ;)

Are you the same Anonymous who commented on the last post? If so, I wish you had a name. :) Then again, I like the mystery.

Anonymous said...

I am the same. ^_^

As for who I am.... "I'm youth, I'm joy, I'm a little bird that has broken out of the egg."

Seriously, though, I'm kind of shy when it comes to what I reveal about myself on the internet, but suffice it to say I'm a fellow "Peter Pan" purist and J. M. Barrie buff. ^_^

Anonymous said...

Here's another one--Peter Pan as Hades.

There is definitely something of the Greek myth of Demeter and Persephone in the Peter Pan tale--Mrs. Darling in the role of Demeter, refusing to bring things to normal until her daughter returns; Wendy in the role of Persephone, kidnapped and ultimately wanting to go home, but then being shared between her mother and her kidnapper; and Peter in the role of Hades, kidnapping Wendy and refusing to give her up completely even when she returns to her mother.

In fact, I kind of think of "Peter and Wendy" as being a cross between that myth and "Treasure Island", where Wendy is in the Jim Hawkins role (albeit female instead of male, and all that implies), and Peter in the role of Long John Silver (despite the easy connection with Hook, for both being pirates).

Peter said...

Once again you cause me to clap like I would to revive a fairy. Thanks for this cool insight. I awlays love to see parallels between mythologies.

Anonymous said...

You're welcome!

And so do I--I'm finally starting to get an idea of why various mythologies are the way they are, and that helps me to greater appreciate them. And the fact that there are parallels suggests something in the way of a universal truth. ^_^