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Plot in Peter Pan

Plot Examples in Peter Pan:

Chapter 2 - The Shadow

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"I ought to have been specially careful on a Friday," she used to say afterwards..."   (Chapter 2 - The Shadow)

Here Barrie changes the timeline of the story without specifically saying that they have jumped forward without explanation. By using the word “afterwards” at the end of the sentence it is implied that something has happened that readers are unaware of. Barrier does this to add to the suspense of the story and the oral narration tone.

"I solemnly promise that it will all come right in the end..."   (Chapter 3 - Come Away, Come Away!)

Again the narrator breaks the fourth wall to enhance the oral-storytelling tone of the book. In this instance, the narrator ensures the reader that “it will all come right in the end” because it is meant to be a children's tale and such stories typically have happy endings.

"Thus sharply did the terrified three learn the difference between an island of make-believe and the same island come true..."   (Chapter 4 - The Flight)

Reality and make-believe are in constant conflict in this story. This is the first time in their lives that John, Michael, and Wendy are seeing the reality of their dreams. Before they arrive (awake) in Neverland, their dreams are abstract and heavily forgotten by morning. However, in this instance they are conscious and “terrified.”

"I see your flamingo with the broken leg!..."   (Chapter 4 - The Flight)

In chapter 1, the narrator notes that in John's Neverland he shoots at flamingos. From this line (and the other hints at the Darling children’s Neverlands), we gather that the children are approaching Neverland. Since the children are all going at once, different aspects of each of their Neverlands merge into one fantastic dream.

"Wendy, sing the kind of house you would like to have..."   (Chapter 6 - The Little House)

Since Neverland is a product of children’s dreams and imaginations, this is not an unreasonable request. Perhaps Wendy can hear Peter’s plea since the lines between dreams and reality have blurred during her conscious journey to Neverland. Peter wants to build a house for her because he brought her to Neverland with hopes that she would be a mother for the Lost Boys and him.

"I think this must be a lady..."   (Chapter 6 - The Little House)

The Lost Boys are confused by Wendy because they rarely (if ever) see girls in Neverland. The only girls mentioned that live in Neverland are fairies and Tiger Lily. There are no girls in Peter’s group because girls are too smart to fall out of their perambulators as children.

"the arrow struck against this. It is the kiss I gave her. It has saved her life..."   (Chapter 6 - The Little House)

In chapter 3, Peter gave Wendy a button and believed it was a kiss. When he did this Barrie noted to the reader that the kiss would later save Wendy’s life. This scene is the payoff for that foreshadowing.

"Peter had saved Tiger Lily from a dreadful fate..."   (Chapter 10 - The Happy Home)

In this instance, Barrie’s choice to have the male hero rescue the female from a dire situation represents and serves to perpetuate potentially damaging gender stereotypes. Additionally, the inclusion of Native Americans and how Barrie depicts them in Peter Pan has been decried by many as insensitive and racist. Many supporters of the story believe that Peter Pan still holds valuable lessons for children, which has lead to its popularity over the years. However, these issues are still important and worth drawing attention to.

"No, indeed..."   (Chapter 10 - The Happy Home)

The Lost Boys’ petty fight represents the immaturity of children. Up to this point, the Lost Boys seem to get along rather well; however with Wendy taking on the role of mother in the household, the boys begin to fight like siblings. This suggests that being a child forever isn’t necessarily paradise after all.

"Mr. Darling was angry with her and chained her up in the yard, and so all the children flew away..."   (Chapter 11 - Wendy's Story)

Wendy is telling the exact story of how the Darling children made it to Neverland. Recall in chapter 2 when Mr. Darling fed Nana his own medicine and denied blame for her sickness. After that, he chained her in the yard because he was upset that the children were supporting her instead of him. Wendy tells this story at bedtime because she is beginning to miss reality and her home back in England.

"who were therefore nearer to him than you think..."   (Chapter 13 - Do You Believe In Fairies?)

In this paragraph, lines of reality between the real world and Neverland appear to disappear as Peter makes an appeal to all the dreaming children to save Tinker Bell’s life.

"She was saying that she thought she could get well again if children believed in fairies..."   (Chapter 13 - Do You Believe In Fairies?)

This scene is foreshadowed earlier in the story when Peter explains fairies to the Darling children. (Fairies are symbolic of children's’ ability to believe.) Recall that fairies die every time a child stops believing, perhaps in this instance a child is struggling to still believe.

"Hook or me this time...."   (Chapter 15 - Hook or Me This Time)

This statement describes the culminating event of the central plot conflict in the story. “Hook or me this time” insinuates that by the end of the story either the antagonist or protagonist will defeat the other once and for all.

"cried Wendy so longingly that Mrs. Darling tightened her grip..."   (Chapter 17 - When Wendy Grew Up)

Wendy is faced with a difficult decision here: to stay with her parents or to follow Peter back to Neverland. Ultimately she decides to stay with her parents, symbolizing her strength of character and making an important, independent decision rather than catering to Peter's needs.

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