Peter Pan Redux

I just finished reading Peter Pan and I am amazed at what a wonderful book it is. I had never read it; I think I had just seen the Disney movie, and read the Golden Book version of the story. It is so well-written, and really thought-provoking. As Wendy ages, she loses the ability to see Peter Pan, and in fact almost forgets who he is. But at the end we learn her daughter goes to live with him in Neverland, and then her granddaughter.
I thought a lot about my own ability to imagine Neverland, and how children seem to have a special ability to be imaginative. At some point we lose that–and I have a pet theory that it is in part because children are just inherantly selfish (not a bad thing, mind you, just true) and so they don’t worry much about anyone else–at least most kids. As we become more aware of those around us, and more aware of our responsibilities, it becomes harder and harder to lose ourselves in imagination.
When I was little, I had a tree with a Y shaped branch where I would sit for hours and pretend I was riding a horse (Butterball) and having adventures. I’ve lost that great ability (and moved far away from that apple tree).
Now I think I experience imagination more vicariously–in books and movies where I can immerse myself in someone else’s life. But I think I need to practice using my imagination more.
If you have never read the original Peter Pan, I highly recommend it. It is brilliant, funny, and in many ways, not a kids’ book at all.


One response to “Peter Pan Redux

  1. The Never Fairy

    Oh yes… the “real” story has a LOT more going in it than most people first imagine. It’s a lot darker and more bittersweet, too. You’re quite right…such a wonderful story. And I love how it works on two levels – children and adults will get to very different things out of the tale.

    There’s a book that’s based on Barrie’s own idea for more Peter Pan adventure… click here to see.


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