Saturday, June 2, 2012

You think that's Tink?

Peter Pan is always with Tinker Bell, right?
Okay, he’s not in Peter Pan’s NeverWorld.  I didn’t see the need to ‘magically’ resurrect Tink when Barrie put in the extra sad touch of her ultimate demise.  After all, she’d already been saved from death once.   I gave Peter his own fairy, literally.

And thus, not counting my book or the final chapter (and whenever upon she ceased to be prior to his visit to grown-up Wendy), Peter Pan is never without Tink.  Right?

Perhaps not!  Two bits of Barrie leapt out at me when last going through the novel, which, in conjunction with each other, just might prove otherwise.

Among Peter’s visits to the Darling nursery (to hear the stories), we read:
He was accompanied by a strange light, no bigger than your fist, which darted about the room like a living thing and I think it must have been this light that wakened Mrs. Darling.

And later, having come back to fetch his shadow:
It was not really a light; it made this light by flashing about so quickly, but when it came to rest for a second you saw it was a fairy, no longer than your hand, but still growing.

We can say for certain that this second light/fairy is in fact Tink.  Why?  The next line, of course:
It was a girl called Tinker Bell...

All right, so Pan has a fairy with him both times.  Note, however, that Barrie doesn’t specify the first one as the popular Tink.  Granted, that doesn’t mean it isn’t her, and the natural assumption is to think it is.   But examination of what’s there yields the difference between a ‘fist’ and a ‘hand.’  Those are similar, yes, but not quite the same.  Try it.  Look at your fist rather than your hand - vastly dissimilar actually.  This alone might prove enough to question whether or not the fairy with him when Mrs. Darling encountered the boy is Tink.   But what really jarred me is the curious word ‘growing’ that Barrie wrote.   Why does it matter?  Well, only one week elapses between when Peter’s shadow had been torn off by the window and when he returns to fetch it. 

She decided to roll the shadow up and put it away carefully in a drawer, until a fitting opportunity came for telling her husband. Ah me!  The opportunity came a week later, on that never-to-be-forgotten Friday.

To think of Peter without his shadow for a whole week!   But in terms of the matter at wing, that’s not all that much time, really.  So are we to believe, then, that the first light had grown from a fist to hand size in just seven days?  And the fairy (Tink?) still growing?  If fairies kept getting bigger as such in as little time as a week, she’d be HUGE after the amount of time that the Darlings spent in the Neverland.  [Don’t believe me?  See this post.]  Unless, of course, she stopped growing after the week.  It’s entirely possible, given that a week seems to have some sort of magic property in the world of Pan. [i.e. Peter flew away from home in seven days (as per Narrator of Peter Pan in Kensington Gardens) and the seven days of boys before they are ‘lost.’]  Possible, sure, but is it likely? 

You see, if it can be surmised that a fairy grows in a week, then isn’t also true that Tink is a new fairy?  Thus, she hadn’t been with Peter all that long [if any time at all!] before the Mrs. Darling encounter.

All right, then, if the fairy with Pan & Mrs. Darling is in fact not Tinker Bell, then it suggests that fairies are different sizes just as humans are!  And even if it is Tink then, she’s now another size it would seem.

A lot to think about, no? 

I’m not stating outright that the first fairy is not Tink.  Nor am I saying that it is.  I haven’t made a decision.  And right now I don’t have to do so, as I have no plans on writing stories with Tinker Bell in them.  So I don’t have to bang my head to figure it out just yet.

But it does raise an interesting notion - not only on fairy sizing, but as to whether or not Tinker Bell “always” accompanies Pan.

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