We have always been taught to grow up and be responsible members of society. To work hard, make productive choices, and start families. Were taught to give up our childhood fantasies and make grown up choices that will benefit our family and well being.
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We must conform to our nations expectations and follow all laws. Were supposed to get jobs, pay bills, and work 8 hours or more a day 5 days a week to be considered adults. What if we were allowed not to “grow up” yet still live a fruitful life. Would we? Would we take responsibility and get jobs, pay bills, start families. If we were left to our own choosing we would stay young forever like Peter Pan. That in itself might lead to destruction of what we know to be productive society. Not taking responsibility for our actions would lead to world devastation and stagnation of a meaningful existence. Peter Pan wants to avoid all the hurtful experiences that a grown up life has to offer and wants to get as many children as possible to take the same path with him. He forms the lost boys and entices Wendy to join him in Never land. It can be so much easier to be a child and never have to deal with adult responsibilities. Peter Pan is the embodiment of what every adult would like to be at some point in their life of soul killing everyday existence. Peter Pan is freedom from all pain, attachments, and messed up childhood abuses. He is an idea of carefree painless freedom to do what every you want, anytime you want without consequences “but is he”?
Running from adulthood is an appealing prospect that has profound pull. Being an adult has lots of pain attached to it like worrying about your children, how you’re going to put food on the table. Peter has none of these worries and in fact seems to lack normal emotions of fear and attachment. He is not scared of dying or of confrontation with other older people. Peters values reflect those of a shellfish know it all child with no discipline. He doesn’t trust adults and lives outside of reality in “fairytale land”. It’s exciting to be carefree with no responsibilities. If we were to think like Peter Pan our society would crumble very fast. Lack of responsibility leads to non productive existence. Some people would equate homelessness as a form of Peter Pan syndrome. Not wanting to get a job, or taking care of their children this most of the time is not the case. What it means for us is loss of innocence that can never be recovered. Accountability for our actions that have consequences. The message that Peter Pan exudes is you don’t have to conform to everyday older people’s ideas of what’s acceptable, or mandatory. That it’s ok to shrug off society and live in a fairytale land. To stay young forever is very appealing and sometimes sought after. Not caring about moral judgments, flying, and staying young forever would be cake! Peter Pan is the embodiment of running away from all adult problems and pains.
The pirates come into play and try to catch Peter Pan every chance they get. Hook is the leader of the pirates and hates Peter Pan for cutting off his hand. Hook will do anything to get revenge for Peter feeding his hand to the crocodile. Hook will not leave never land without getting revenge on Peter. The real reason that Hook keeps hunting Peter Pan is that he might be jealous of Peter and wants what peter has. Hook wants to be young and agile, carefree, and to live in freedom with no responsibilities. He hates Peter because he wants to be Peter Pan and have people that love him just like Peter. Peter Pan has Tinker Bell, Wendy, and the Lost Boys who will do anything for him. Who wouldn’t want to be Peter Pan I would! It’s said that the person you hate the most is the person you want to be the most. The Lost Boys have Peter Pans back all the time but Peter thins out the herd when they get older,” becoming adults”. Peter doesn’t really have loyalty to the people that care about him. It only goes as far as them being young and Peter being in charge. Peter is a leader of the less fortunate and destitute, as long as they back him and don’t get older, until then he is their father figure. In reality Peter Pan is lost and lonely with no real future to speak of other than living in a fantasy world.
Reflection teaches us that staying young, not taking responsibility and not moving forward in itself will cause loneliness and despair. Being childlike dismisses responsibility for your own actions and outcomes. Peter Pan is really making a surrogate family for himself, so as not to be alone. Peters only real concern is for himself and holding on to being master of his troupe. The children that Peter Pan helps long for real parents, a real life outside of Never Land including Wendy and the Lost Boys. The message is that we cannot stay young forever and must grow up sometime and be responsible. Being stagnate forever is not very fun after awhile and will give way to loneliness. Growing up is learning that life is not fare and has many painful hurtful consequences. That is just part of being an adult and provides a foundation for our character. Captain Hood is not Peters enemy in fact Hook is necessary for Peters fantasy survival. Hook is Peter Pans fight against the establishment, an enemy to which gives Peter a distraction and purpose. The Peter Pan fairy tale is a wonderful idea of escape just about everybody feels at least once in their life. We want to run away from our past and forget all the bad things that have shaped us into what kind of person we are now. What we can take away from this story is to learn what the good and bad aspects are, apply them to our own lives to become better people.
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