Growing up, the only story about Peter Pan I had ever known was the Disney version. I don’t remember going to see it in play form and I definitely never read the book. I am finding that J.M. Barrie’s version of Peter is quite different than Walt Disney’s! Let’s take a look at the characters that we’ve met so far.
Narrator: There is truly a character in the voice of the narrator, so I feel he must be included as such. It’s as if Mr. Barrie himself is sitting down and telling this story. He offers the reader a unique role in the story by drawing you in and including you in what is happening.
Mr. Darling: Are you having trouble liking a man who thinks it’s perfectly all right to give his children away because he can’t afford them? I am. He is a short tempered, pompous bank worker. This guy worries about how he looks in society, keeping up with the Jones’s, and definitely married over his head.
Mrs. Darling: This mommy has some mystery about her. Wouldn’t it be something to have a “sweet, mocking mouth” with one irretrievable kiss in the corner? I loved how she tidied up her children’s minds while they slept. She makes sure that everything is sweet and wonderful to start a new day. I felt a giant tug on my heart when I read that! She truly cares for her children’s happiness. Sometime in her life, she had met Peter Pan before and this bit of her past let’s you know that she has some whimsy inside of her.
Wendy: Eldest Darling child, mommy in training, seamstress of shadows, extremely fond of Peter Pan. She is recruited by Peter to come to Never Land, be the Lost Boys’ mother and tell them stories. Her joy seems to come from caring for others.
John and Michael: Brothers to Wendy. Lovers of Pirates, wigwams, lagoons and make believe.
Nana: The faithful Newfoundland nursemaid of Wendy, John, and Michael.
Peter Pan: This is one cocky, arrogant boy! He is much younger than the Disney version and thinks everything, even life and death, is a game. He lives in the here and now and remembers very little except what is happening in the moment. Everything must revolve around him and what he wants. It will be interesting to see how he acts among the Lost Boys and the residents of Never Land.
Tinker Bell: Fiery little fairy belonging to Peter. She’s ultra jealous of Wendy and is mean to her from the get-go. She convinces the Lost Boys to shoot Wendy out of the sky. Not sure how this Tinker Bell becomes the one we all love, but will be fun to see how her character evolves
Captain Hook: Suave, gentile, and all about propriety until he slices you open with his iron claw! Boy is he ruthless. He’s even feared by Long John Silver (Barbecue/the Sea-Cook). Cold blooded and sinister, he wants revenge on Peter Pan for throwing his arm to the crocodile.
It’s been a fun few introductory chapters. I cannot wait to see what happens now that the Darlings have made it onto the island of Never Land. How many of you were able to stop after chapter five? Wendy was in peril! Could you stop reading? Well, let’s find out what happened after she was shot out of the sky…
Reading for week two: Peter Pan and Wendy Chapters 6-10
Things to Ponder:
- What do you think Mrs. Darling’s unreachable kiss represents? Why do you think her husband was unable to get it?
- People seem to be fascinated with flying! What would you think of to help you fly to Never Land?
- All of the Darling children had different ideas of their own Never Land. What would be found on your version of Never Land island?
Contributed by: Lynnette Johnson (NDM#271) Lynnette is the DDL Book of the Month Blogger.
Lynnette’s love of all things Disney grew out of the close connection it had to good times spent with her family. Whether that was loading up the car to go see the latest Disney film at the drive-in, watching World of Disney every Sunday night together, or pouring over the newest Grolier Disney book to show up in the mail, it always included time spent together. As a native Southern California girl, her family took yearly trips to Disneyland. Those memories gave her a greater love for the Magic that continues today. Lynnette is a mom of two, an elementary school teacher, and avid reader.