Peter Pan is considered by many to be one of the best and the loveliest children`s classics ever to be written. Wendy, John and Michael Darling fly away with Peter one night to Neverland, away from Mr. and Mrs. Darling and their beloved dog-nurse, Nana. Neverland is entirely make-believe and perhaps so is Peter, for he only comes to children who are gay and innocent and heartless( without a care in the world).
Peter is a young boy, careless and heedless, with the wildest imagination possible, and yet he has captivated all those who have read about him. Together with him and a gang of six Lost Boys (Tootles, Nibbles, the Twins) and, of course, Tinkerbell, the fairy, Wendy, John and Michael, have the most unbelievable adventures. They have battles with the horrible, mean Captain Hook and his pirates as well as with the redskins.
Peter Pan, the story of a boy who refuses to grow up and creates his own world of Indians, pirates, and fairies was produced for the stage in 1904 but appeared as a narrative story only in 1911. It was adapted as a play with music (1950), and as a musical comedy (1954, revived in 1979) that was also performed on television. Peter Pan was also made into a silent film (1924) and a feature-length animated film.
Sir James M. Barrie, the author, was born in Kirriemuir, Scotland, to David Barrie and Margaret Ogilvy in 1860.
His works are still so readable because of the rich elements that he took from his own life and those around him. James Barrie believed in the power of emotion, but he also was possessed of an irrepressible humor.Because he wanted his creation to benefit youngsters as much as possible, Barrie donated his rights in Peter Pan to a London children`s hospital.
`Second to the right, and straight on till morning.`
That, Peter had told Wendy, was the way to the Neverland; but even birds, carrying maps and consulting them at windy corners, could not have sighted it with these instructions. Peter, you see, just said anything that came into his head.
At first his companions trusted him implicitly, and so great were the delights of flying that they wasted time circling round church spires or any other tall objects on the way that took their fancy.
John and Michael raced, Michael getting a start.They recalled with contempt that not so long ago they had thought themselves fine fellows for being able to fly round a room.
Not so long ago. But how long ago? They were flying over the sea before this thought began to disturb Wendy seriously. John thought it was their second sea and their third night.
Sometimes it was dark and sometimes light, and now they were very cold and again too warm. Did they really feel hungry at times, or were they merely pretending, because Peter had such a jolly new way of feeding them? His way was to pursue birds who had food in their mouths suitable for humans and snatch it from them; then the birds would follow and snatch it back; and they would all go chasing each other gaily for miles, parting at last with mutual expressions of good-will. But Wendy noticed with gentle concern that Peter did not seem to know that this was rather an odd way of getting your bread and butter, nor even that there are other ways.
Certainly they did not pretend to be sleepy, they were sleepy; and that was a danger, for the moment they popped off, down they fell. The awful thing was that Peter thought this funny.
`There he goes again!` he would cry gleefully, as Michael suddenly dropped like a stone.
Save him, save him! cried Wendy, looking with horror at the cruel sea far below. Eventually Peter would dive through the air, and catch Michael just before he could strike the sea, and it was lovely the way he did it; but he always waited till the last moment, and you felt it was his cleverness that interested him and not the saving of human life. Also he was fond of variety, and the sport that engrossed him one moment would suddenly cease to engage him, so there was always the possibility that the next time you fell he would let you go.
He could sleep in the air without falling, by merely lying on his back and floating, but this was, partly at least, because he was so light that if you got behind him and blew he went faster.
When playing Follow my Leader, Peter would fly close to the water and touch each shark`s tail in passing, just as in the street you may run your finger along an iron railing. They could not follow him in this with much success, so perhaps it was rather like showing off, especially as he kept looking behind to see how many tails they missed.
`You must be nice to him,` Wendy impressed on her brothers. `What could we do if he were to leave us?`
`We could go back,` Michael said.
`How could we ever find our way back without him?`