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Author Topic: The Dark Side of Peter Pan?
Katie
I Saw Three Shipments


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I remember reading once that in one of James Matthew Barrie's books, Pepter-Pan "cleanses" the island for the new children by killing off the others.

I can't find this anywhere. Does anyone know if this is true?

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emperor_genghis_khan
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Yes Pepter-Pan would come in while Peter Pan was away and kill all the children. [fish]

Edited to fix bold

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gnome
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If you're interested in "Dark" versions of children's stories, Tanith Lee's "Red as Blood" does quite well.
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Signora Del Drago
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quote:
Originally posted by emperor_genghis_khan:
Yes [bold] Pepter-Pan {/bold] would come in while Peter Pan was away and kill all the children. [fish]

It always amuses me when a post made for the sole purpose of correcting another post also contains errors. [Razz]

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The Fourth Man
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quote:
Originally posted by gnome:
If you're interested in "Dark" versions of children's stories, Tanith Lee's "Red as Blood" does quite well.

A quick web search didn't tell me whether it has been translated in English (it has been in Polish, though) but if it has been or if you can read French, Régis Loisel's six-volume comic Peter Pan is an absolute must-read. It's a prequel to Barrie's story, giving Peter a background and explaining how he arrived in Neverland.

ETA: I just found out it has been translated in Spanish and Dutch, too.

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Andrew of Ware, England
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The orignal version of Peter Pan, is indeed quite dark. For example...

...on first encountering Captain Hook we are shown his evil side when a pirate accidently stumbles into him and Hook skewers him with his hook. This episode is introduced casually, 'Let's now kill a pirate, to show Hook's method. Skylights will do.'

...fairies can be killed by merely saying 'I don't believe in fairies'.

...nearly all of the good 'Red Indians' are killed by the evil pirates.

...killing is so casual for Peter that he forgets Captain Hook. ' "I forget them after I kill them," he replied carelessly.'

...at the end of the book the (almost certain) death of Tinkerbell is casually tossed in. Wendy asks, when Peter returns to take her to do some spring cleaning, where Tinkerbell is. He does not even remember the fairy that saved his life. 'There are such a lot of them. ... I expect she is no more.' Barrie then adds, 'I expect he was right, for fairies don't live long.'

Off topic incredible co-incidence edit: When I returned to the 'Current Topics' page the disclaimer at the top said 'The site does not enable user to fly.'

(Peter Pan was originally a play and in the original version the children are taught to fly by Peter Pan without the aid of 'fairy dust'. They just had to think of wonderful things. Barrie was later horrified to hear of children hurting themselves by throwing themselves off bunk beds and expecting to fly because they were thinking of wonderful things. Barrie then added the idea of 'fairy dust' to stop this.)

(If anyone says that this story is an urban legend then I'll cry.)

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Tarquin Farquart
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And in the play, Captain Hook and Mr Darling are played by the same person.

That puts an interesting spin on it I think.

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put it in writing
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You forgot little Michael - I think it was Michael - coming home and saying of his father, "Oh, he's not so large as the pirate I killed."

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Mistletoey Chloe
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I thought it was originally written as a tale told by a paedophile.

Or am I hallucinating? Excuse me while I google.

ETA: I'm overstating. The germs of _Peter Pan_ show up as a story told in _The Little White Bird_, a semi-autobiographical novel that has its narrator paying the kind of attention to a little boy that would be considered unseemly today.

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Tarquin Farquart
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quote:
Originally posted by Chloe:
I thought it was originally written as a tale told by a paedophile.

Isn't that Alice in Wonderland ?

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Andrew of Ware, England
A-Ware in a Manger


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quote:
Originally posted by Chloe:
I thought it was originally written as a tale told by a paedophile.

Or am I hallucinating? Excuse me while I google.

Are you thinking of 'Alice in Wonderland', Chloe? Lewis Carroll (aka Charles Dodgson) was an early pioneer in photography, specialising in photographs of nude young girls. He was never accused of being a paedophile - standards were different in Victorian England - but today he would certainly be gaoled for the photographs. (BTW: He ordered that the nude photographs be destroyed after his death. Only the non-nude ones survived.)

Edited: Spanked by Tarquin.

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Andrew, Ware, England

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GenYus
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quote:
Originally posted by Chloe:
I thought it was originally written as a tale told by a paedophile.

You're thinking of the tales told about Neverland Ranch.

ETA: words more sense make.

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Mistletoey Chloe
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No, I'm thinking of Peter Pan, honestly. There's an article that touches on both the pedophiliac element and the other darknesses in the book here : http://www.theage.com.au/articles/2002/12/29/1040511254669.html

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Andrew of Ware, England
A-Ware in a Manger


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From the article Chloe linked to:

quote:
It is the story of a strange, dysfunctional boy who refuses to grow up, who hangs around a nursery window and lures children away to a place where they meet a fairy who has the morals and murderous impulses of Lucrezia Borgia, and do battle with a wicked pirate who is both a distorted father figure and a walking, talking phallic symbol.
I had forgotten the attempted murder of Wendy as she flies into Neverland.

The author of the article does not justify the phrase that Captain Hook is a, 'a walking, talking phallic symbol. Can anyone explain this. Captain Hook is deliciously evil - but a phallic symbol?

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Andrew, Ware, England

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Richl
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Also tinker bell likes to call Peter a Silly *&^*@, alot in the story. And in the book I have that is how this word is shown. So fill in the blank.
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Andrew of Ware, England
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In my version (a reprint of the original book)she says, 'You silly ass.' Not very polite, but not rude. (It is certainly not as bad as when she gets the Lost Boys to shoot 'the big white bird' as Wendy comes to Neverland.)

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Andrew, Ware, England

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Wicked Tinkerbell
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quote:
Originally posted by Andrew of Ware, England:


...at the end of the book the (almost certain) death of Tinkerbell is casually tossed in. Wendy asks, when Peter returns to take her to do some spring cleaning, where Tinkerbell is. He does not even remember the fairy that saved his life. 'There are such a lot of them. ... I expect she is no more.' Barrie then adds, 'I expect he was right, for fairies don't live long.'

Tink didn't die: She found that she was hard to kill if she believed in herself. So she left the ungrateful Silly *&^*@... (and became 'Wicked'!) [Big Grin] [Big Grin] [Big Grin] [Big Grin]


Wicked 'Pixi-lated!' Tinkerbell

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Andrew of Ware, England
A-Ware in a Manger


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You're quite right. Of course she didn't die! And I bet you're not really wicked. (Aside: You keep her talking whilst I get the doctor.)

Oh, and another dark moment in the book is when Peter thinks he is going to die (when the wicked pirates have left Wendy and himself on marooners' Rock with the tide coming in) and he says, 'To die will be an awfully big adventure'.

I think the phrase, 'An awfully big adventure', was used for a biography of Barrie. (I may have the exact words wrong as I have put my book back on the shelves and it is late and I want to go to bed.)

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Andrew, Ware, England

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candycane from strangers
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Chloe, that article is very interesting.

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Cactus Wren
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Chapter 5, "The Island Come True", from paragraph 4:
quote:
The boys on the island vary, of course, in numbers, according as they get killed and so on; and when they seem to be growing up, which is against the rules, Peter thins them out; but at this time there were six of them, counting the twins as two.


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Nion
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OOH! I have a question.

I remember once reading something that likened Peter to the figure of Death, hording the "lost" boys to Neverland, a bizare version of heaven I suppose.

Thoughts?

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Joseph Z
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(deep voice) Peter...I am your father (winces)

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Joseph Z

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Tarquin Farquart
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I can't remember who wrote it but I remember reading about a book featuring a grown-up Wendy along with Dorothy from the Wizard of Oz and Alice from ...in Wonderland.

Does anyone know anything about this?

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Brad from Georgia
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I don't suppose it was "Wendy and Dorothy and Ted and Alice?"


Brad "but a man can dream, though. Oh, my, yes, a man can dream" from Georgia

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Ramblin' Dave, quietly making noise
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When I read the title of this thread, the first thing I thought of was a pornographic story that made the Internet rounds about ten years ago, in which Tinker Bell deflowers Peter. Oops. [lol]

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Brad from Georgia
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quote:
Originally posted by Ramblin' Dave, ramblin' again:
When I read the title of this thread, the first thing I thought of was a pornographic story that made the Internet rounds about ten years ago, in which Tinker Bell deflowers Peter. Oops. [lol]

Someone must have put her up to it.

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TrishDaDish
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quote:
The author of the article does not justify the phrase that Captain Hook is a, 'a walking, talking phallic symbol. Can anyone explain this. Captain Hook is deliciously evil - but a phallic symbol?
He is a big weiner in the story. Although, after reading this all of this, I'm reconsidering Peter for the job. Wouldn't a name like "Peter" seem a better phallic symbol, anyway?

"To die will be an awfully big adventure." First off, that reminds me of an Alan Rickman movie i didn't care for, and forgot about the whole peter pan element. Second, didn't Captain Hook (Dustin Hoffman) say that in the movie Hook at some point?

Trish "I think I'm having an apostrophe" DaDish

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Mistletoey Chloe
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A phallic symbol but one strangely deprived of the phallus, which has been bitten off by what is obviously a vagina dentata!

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Kamino Neko
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quote:
Originally posted by Tarquin Farquart:
I can't remember who wrote it but I remember reading about a book featuring a grown-up Wendy along with Dorothy from the Wizard of Oz and Alice from ...in Wonderland.

Sounds like Lost Girls by Allan Moore and Melinda Gebbie.

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Tarquin Farquart
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quote:
Originally posted by Kamino Neko:
quote:
Originally posted by Tarquin Farquart:
I can't remember who wrote it but I remember reading about a book featuring a grown-up Wendy along with Dorothy from the Wizard of Oz and Alice from ...in Wonderland.

Sounds like Lost Girls by Allan Moore and Melinda Gebbie.
That's the one! Thank you for that. [Smile]

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Spindely Fingers
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The pedophillia stuff came up a lot when "Finding Neverland" was released. I'll have to dig around for the source (Smithsonian Magazine, maybe?) but I read an article that said most scholars say the whole J.M. Barrie/pedophile thing has little to do with facts and is more about a recent trend to find the "darker side" of childhood icons (some justifide, some not.) I think one of the more prominent of Barrie's biographers was "horrified" by the allegations. There is some indication Barrie had been abused himself as a child.

Spindely "Although Cap'n Hook was all about Peter 'walkin' the plank'" Fingers

PS Am I crazy or was "Peter Pan" origanlly a play, and not a book? I was under the impression it was a stage play first for some reason.

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Artemis
The First USA Noel


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quote:
Originally posted by TrishDaDish:

"To die will be an awfully big adventure." First off, that reminds me of an Alan Rickman movie i didn't care for, and forgot about the whole peter pan element. Second, didn't Captain Hook (Dustin Hoffman) say that in the movie Hook at some point?


I think Peter says it in "Hook." In the book, Peter says it when he's stranded in the middle of the sea (but is rescued by the Never-bird who offers him its nest). At the end of "Hook," Peter says "To live will be an awfully big adventure."

I'd forgotten the part about him thinning out the lost boys, but now I remember. They don't expand on it much, but I suppose he does kill them off. Considering, as has been mentioned, how careless the attitude towards death is, it's not too surprising.

One other thing sort of dark thing that always stood out for me is where Barrie mentions that for Peter, unlike with other children, the notion that the world isn't a fair place never sinks in. So every time he experiences something dishonorable, it hurts just as much as the first time--like when he goes to help up Hook on the cliff, who slashes him.

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Oceanic Aura
The First USA Noel


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quote:
Originally posted by Chloe:
No, I'm thinking of Peter Pan, honestly. There's an article that touches on both the pedophiliac element and the other darknesses in the book here : http://www.theage.com.au/articles/2002/12/29/1040511254669.html

That was an interesting article, thanks for posting it. To add another dimension - I have read a few articles claiming that Barrie was a victim of psychosocial dwarfism. The attempt to live up to his brother's shadow essentially retarding his physical and sexual growth. Based on that, I'd always interpreted Peter Pan as not so much pedophilic but an attempt at vicarious childhood.

I'll try to dig up some cites, but my obsession with Victorian era children's lit was years ago, so please be patient!

Aura

Edit: Okay, apparently the more preferred term is psychogenic dwarfism. I wasn't able to find too much other then in passing. Such as in the wikipedia article on psychogenic dwarfism:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Psychogenic_dwarfism.

Although this college students report was a rather fascninating read: http://serendip.brynmawr.edu/bb/neuro/neuro01/web3/Munoz.html

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Andrew of Ware, England
A-Ware in a Manger


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quote:
Originally posted by Spindely Fingers:
PS Am I crazy or was "Peter Pan" origanlly a play, and not a book? I was under the impression it was a stage play first for some reason.

No you're not crazy. I mentioned the fact above, along with the story about having to have 'fairy dust' in order to fly. Children, once they'd seen the play, were throwing themselves off beds hoping to fly by just thinking of 'wonderful' things. As far as I know no children threw themselves out of bedrooms.

Barrie was a genius, but a weird one. I have read a bit about him, but this topic is teaching me a lot more about his weirdness.

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Andrew, Ware, England

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Sabrina_Fairchild
I'll Be Home for After Christmas Sales


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quote:
Originally posted by Oceanic Aura:
[QUOTE]Originally posted by Chloe:
[qb] No, I'm thinking of Peter Pan, honestly. There's an article that touches on both the pedophiliac element and the other darknesses in the book here : http://www.theage.com.au/articles/2002/12/29/1040511254669.html

OMG! Did anyone see that ad they had on there with the banana? Oddly, I found it quite appropriate for this topic. [fish]

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As heard on "Street Smarts":
Q: Chicago has 2 professional baseball teams. The Cubs and....what is the other one? Hint: It's something you probably don't wear a lot.

Girl: Underwear?

Posts: 178 | From: Texas | Registered: Jun 2005  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a moderator
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