Friday, July 8, 2011

Tree-son Against Barrie?

At the end of Peter and Wendy, Peter Pan says where he will now live:

“With Tink in the house we built for Wendy. The fairies are to put it high up among the tree tops where they sleep at nights.”

So why isn’t he living there in Peter Pan’s NeverWorld? Is this a glitch in the novel? No. What Barrie wrote is (but of course) true... and stayed true for quite some time. But as with many things, it had to come to an end. Why? What’s the rationale for that?

Simple. First off, there is quite an extensive amount of time between the events of Barrie’s conclusion and my novel. (We’re talking decades!) That alone should be (and is) a factor. Peter Pan would most likely get bored with living in the same simple and small place, espeically when remembrance of Wendy isn't fresh in his mind.  Yet that’s but a mild reason among those that exist.

Here's another:  Crowding issues. Since Lost Boys are always coming to the Neverland, eventually there’d be one too many of them trying to fit in the Wendy House.

Also, the Wendy House atop the trees is not as well hidden as say, a home under the ground. Think about it... there are other nasty shenanigans going on around the magical isle besides pirates. Would it behoove Pan to stay out in the open? He’s smarter than that.

The way I figure it... on one of Peter’s daily adventures in the Neverland, he came across the Home Under the Ground and found it again for what he believed to be the first time. Whichever Lost Boys were with him would delight in such a place as well.  Perhaps whichever mother had been with him would poo-poo the idea, but then, sometimes there’s no arguing with Peter Pan!  Having re-found it, he’d also (re?)realize what a boon the hideout proves to be. After all, Barrie didn’t think it up for nothing!

That’s why you’ll find Peter Pan, Denny and the Lost Boys living in the underground house on the island.

And yet...I didn’t want to replicate the very same idea for his adventures on NeverWorld. It’s certainly possible and plausible that he'd live under the ground again, sure. At the very least one of the kids who helped dream it up could have even placed an exact copy of it someplace on the planet. [In fact, that just might have been done!]  However, from a standpoint of storytelling, it would also feel utterly rehashed.

So I decided on a solution that would refer back to the very same Wendy House that he’d “supposed to be” living in at the end of the novel. Thus, they live in a house on the trees.

But as with everything in Peter Pan’s NeverWorld, the stakes are raised. As an example, Mothers are without a doubt an important key factor in the tales of Peter Pan. Raised a level, that becomes Mother Earth/Planet. So when the Wendy House is considered, an upgrade from a house is none other than a mansion, or to be exact: ...a multi-level tree house with more rooms than necessary.

You might be thinking that an even bigger “Wendy House” is therefore an even bigger sight that could attract unfriendly and unwanted guests. What’s more, the novel says: It did, however, lack one thing – a ladder. They could keep enemies away who didn’t have the power of flight. Why can’t “baddies” just climb up, you might be wondering? The tree is rather daunting, I tell you. Honest. In my mind, it’s a very thick, hearty tree that’s able to support such a grand house atop itself. Not to mention it’s quite high up indeed. Not the sort of bark stalk that’s either inviting or particularly easy to climb. Oh, sure, I suppose it could be done if need be.  But to use the opposite direction - that’s like saying you could jump off a cliff if you really wanted to do so.  Or maybe it's better to say it's like scaling a cliff.  Suffice to say, it’s no effortless task to clamber up their tree!

So there, you see, I strove for a blending of the old and new. Barrie wanted him in a Tree House. So I gave Pan the greatest Tree House of them all!

No comments: