PETER PAN – Overview: The short version

(Here’s my first Overview – a detailed look at a ‘classic’ book, including it’s historical context and how it’s changed through the years in various versions and media. I had thought to publish Overviews as simple posts, but this one has turned out so, um, voluminous that I think I will put it up as a page instead (ie. accessible through the menu at the top under “Overviews”, or here. Below is a Short Version, for those who have neither time nor patience with obsessive research…)

illustration by Mabel Lucie Attwell

“Every child grows up… except one.”



A mysterious boy named Peter Pan flies in the Darling family’s nursery window and entices Wendy, John and Michael to go with him to a magical place called Neverland. With the help of a little pixie dust from a fairy named Tinker Bell, they are able to fly away with him and encounter the real (yet deadly) land of their imaginations and dreams – a land where they never have to grow up. After many adventures there Wendy convinces her brothers that they must return to their anxious parents. Peter’s entire band of Lost Boys have enjoyed having a mother (Wendy) so much that they decide to go with them to the real world. Peter alone stays behind – he thinks parents and growing up is terribly overrated. As they exit the hideout, however, the children are captured by the evil Captain Hook and his pirates. Tinker Bell prevents Peter from drinking the poison Hook has left for him, and Peter rushes to rescue the others and do battle with the Captain. The pirates are vanquished and Hook is eaten by a crocodile. Peter returns the children to their nursery window, where their parents and dog Nana await. Peter refuses to stay, he prefers to remain a boy forever – no matter what the cost – and he flies off, back to Neverland.

(Note: story events can vary greatly from one version to the next.)



All writings posted here are © Kim Thompson, unless otherwise indicated. For all artwork on this site, copyright is retained by the artist.