Is it Wise to Forever be a Child?

At times we all feel like we would like to always be children or maybe go back to that stage in our lives. It seems like such a wonderful thing to be able to experience that carefree lifestyle that is childhood once again. This is one of the reasons why the story of Peter Pan is so fascinating. It takes us right back to that sense of childhood wonder and fear. At first glance it seems like Peter Pan has achieved the ideal life because he is always going to be a kid but there are some negative things associated with always being a child.

To start out, in the beginning the book makes being a kid seem better than being an adult. While the kids only have to deal with the usual things of not wanting to go to bed or taking medicine their parents have to deal with real life struggles like paying the bills and keeping a job. Even the simplest of things like tying a tie just about sends the children’s father off the deep end. It seems at this point in the text that the children are being introduced to what adult hood is like and being told to grow up. “Be a man, Michael.” (Barrie 15) When the parents seem to be the most stressed over their lives Peter Pan comes flying in through the window and takes their children away on a wonderful adventure.

Peter is the kid’s rescue from the hectic world at home because he is forever a kid. He doesn’t have the responsibilities that adults have and he is free to do whatever he wants. The coincidence that Peter can also fly is probably not unintentional at all. Barrie wants the reader to see how wonderful Peter’s eternal childhood is by giving him the gift of flight through his friendship with the fairies.

There are also many negative things about eternal childhood that the author wants the reader to see. Because Peter has been a child for so long he will not ever be able to function in the real world. He doesn’t know how to do simple tasks that adults teach children like sew or know what soap is for. He is also incredibly boastful and it seems to perturb the children whenever he acts that way. Peter Pan is also careless about the things that he does throughout the story like when he is flying with the children and is constantly abandoning them to go have fun. Another good example is when one of the children begins to fall out of the air he waits until the last minute to catch them, “…and you felt it was his cleverness that interested him and not the saving of human life” (Barrie 35). As a result of forever being a child Peter Pan will forever have the nature of a child when it comes to serious issues.

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