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Tone in Peter Pan

Tone Examples in Peter Pan:

Chapter 1 - Peter Breaks Through

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"All children, except one, grow up. They soon know that they will grow up, and the way Wendy knew was this..."   (Chapter 1 - Peter Breaks Through)

Peter Pan is a famous children’s book. J.M. Barrie modeled the tale after oral storytelling tradition, as shown by the conversational style, so readers can almost hear the story being told.

"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.

"Oh, do come out of that jug, and tell me, do you know where they put my shadow?..."   (Chapter 3 - Come Away, Come Away!)

Peter’s separation from his shadow is a metaphorical representation of his rejection of and separation from the real world. This scene is meant to establish a playful and fantastical tone for the rest of the story.

"A codfish," replied the voice, "only a codfish..."   (Chapter 8 - The Mermaids' Lagoon)

Even though the narrator talks about how the pirates and the Lost Boys kill each other, he uses this silly fight to keep a playful tone in the story. Both Hook and Peter end up playing the game to make their rivalry humorous and slapstick.

"I forget whether I have told you..."   (Chapter 9 - The Never Bird)

Barrie includes this paragraph to enhance the oral storytelling tone of the story by interjecting interruptions and comments as if the narrator were recalling events rather than writing them down. His use of “forget,” gives the passage a nostalgic tone, giving the impression that the narrator has told this story to his audience many times before, much like a child's bedtime story.

"How clever of me!..."   (Chapter 15 - Hook or Me This Time)

This is sort of a humorous and ironic statement. Right before Peter claims, “How clever of me!” he has been confused by a ticking sound that he himself is making. This is done to keep the content of the story friendly for younger readers, as well as add a slapstick sort of tone even to introduce a battle scene.

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