Steph’s review of Peter Pan and Wendy > Likes and Comments

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message 1: by Caitlin (new)

Caitlin Peter Pan is a boy, and children are selfish.

The author's tongue resides permanently in his cheek.

Have you ever actually looked up the definition of "orgy"? Are you also offended by the usage of the word "gay"? Words change their connotations in a hundred years.

All of that said, as much as I loved the book, the violence is glorified, yes, so I'll be waiting a few years before I read this with my sons. But I intend to read it to them, likely when they are 8 and 6, and discuss it with them. Old stories for children are often violent. Fairy tales are some of the most tortuous stories of all.


message 2: by lily:) (new)

lily:) Steph, I agreed with your every word. I know the Disney version is very different, but when you think about it, that's not such a crime. Disney's version promotes imagination and creativity and the fact that you're never to old to believe. Barrie's promotes the fact that even believers go away. (Ex. SPOILER: the lost boys growing up and forgetting about Neverland.) I rest my case


message 3: by Sma (new)

Sma The concept of a "children's book" is comparatively recent and was certainly not around when J. M. Barry wrote this book. He wrote it to be enjoyed by children, but to be fully understood only by adults, so you shouldn't be shocked that it's full of things that would not be suitable for children, if they could understand the given hints, which they can't.


message 4: by Sma (new)

Sma Also, I'm sorry for misspelling his name.


message 5: by lily:) (new)

lily:) Dear Sma,
I'm a child, btw, and I HATED this book! I mean, I get that not every story needs/has a happily ever after ending, but this one? SPOILER: Peter forgets Tinker Bell even exists!! Really?!?! Children are supposed to understand this? My school had everyone read it in 3rd grade, and I guarantee, over 75% of the 100 or so kids hated it too. Saying that kids are supposed to get it is like saying that dogs are supposed to all have long ears. Adults can have an imagination too.

"Adults are only grown-up kids, anyway."
-Walt Disney


message 6: by lily:) (new)

lily:) I'm sorry, Sma I don't think I wrote that correctly, and I really mean that apology. Here's what I originally wrote but its refraised to better pair up with your comment.

I'm a child but I didn't enjoy this book, nor did most of the five 3rd grade classes put together. I know that was the target audience, and yes it did comprehend with kids better when it was written. Here's the problem with that: a children's story isn't truly timeless if it doesn't comprehend with kids from all generations.

Maybe, I'm just too used to the Disney version (as said in my review of this book). Maybe I'm to used to Disney as a whole that I don't like any version that is not Disney's. But I don't think that's the case. When it comes to this story, Disney is truly a better teller of it. Case closed for me.

And again with my quote...
"Adults are only grown-up kids, anyway." -d
Disney


message 7: by Reyedit (new)

Reyedit Arcols Wrong, Lilly. Barry told exactly the story he wanted to tell. If you likes Disney's version the most, that doesn't mean it's the "correct" version. Its only the most heart warming one.
The story is supposed to be the way it is, and I liked. Of course, I was in shocked when Peter Did not remembered who Tinkerbell was, but there was a message (at least for me): Peter lives in the present. Many people can't live in the present, so they live every day feeling pain from past mistakes. Peter doesn't.
Anyway, if the story had been all time lovely and happy as Disney's version, it wouln't be as remarkable as a book, in my opinion.
I read the book in spanish, I never read anything related to orgys. Gotta look what they put instead. And sorry for my bad english.


message 8: by lily:) (new)

lily:) I got 3 things to tell you Carlos:

1. Thanks for spelling my name wrong when it was right in front of you.

2. I never said Disney's Peter Pan was the "'correct'" version. I only said I liked it a bit better and it was just more kid-friendly.

3. Living in the present doesn't mean forgetting people who had an important part in your life. I don't know why you felt the need to say that.


message 9: by Utility (new)

Utility If you read a book 100 years after it was written, chances are not only that some of the values depicted therein will differ from your own, but also that the language will. The word "orgy" (in its more dated use but also in certain modern uses) simply refers to a very rowdy party.


message 10: by Maria (new)

Maria H. Everything that you said was so true! I thought this book was horrible and disturbing!


message 11: by Kelly Brigid ♡ (new)

Kelly Brigid ♡ You nailed it in those points. Nice review.


message 12: by Andrew (new)

Andrew Perhaps as a man I align on the side of those not bothered by the shadow of violence, much of which was balanced by the pratfall comic. I agree with Caitlin above, that tongue was firmly in Barrie's cheek and that a more appropriate age will be 8+.


message 13: by LobsterQuadrille (new)

LobsterQuadrille I wasn't a fan of the book either. My biggest issue with it was that I thought Peter was completely obnoxious and selfish. I much prefer the Disney movie!


message 14: by Ben (new)

Ben Crisp I think a large part of Peter's personality flaws come from the idea that he had no mother, and everyone needs a mother. It's the key theme of the book, thus not being misogynistic in the slightest, but the complete opposite.


message 15: by LobsterQuadrille (new)

LobsterQuadrille Ben wrote: "I think a large part of Peter's personality flaws come from the idea that he had no mother, and everyone needs a mother. It's the key theme of the book, thus not being misogynistic in the slightest..."

That's a good point!


message 16: by Ben (new)

Ben Crisp I mean a lot of the points in this review I disagree with.

For one, Barrie originally wrote this as a play. Many come into the book with the Disney film in mind (and Pan was portrayed as mean spirited, arrogant and selfish in that too) and as a result do not enjoy the darker aspects of the book. Barrie wrote this is a play, then too a book. Therefore it should be judged in that context, not looking at it for fluffy stories about being a kid. That's not what Barrie was writing.

With a few of your points, as stated above, yes Peter is not the the nicest character. He is mean, selfish, arrogant and dominating. Yet this can be seen in many ways to come from the fact that he did not have a mother. You talk about it being misogynistic when it is really far from that. I mean the definition of misogynistic is "a person who hates or doesn't trust women." I got the complete opposite message from the book. It's all about the important role of women in society. A huge theme of the book is how misguided these boys are and that what all of them really want is a mother, Peter more than all. He is just so torn up about his own past that he rejects it, and thus has not had that guiding influence. Despite this Peter still comes out with lines like "Oh no; girls, you know, are much too clever to fall out their prams." A major theme of the whole book is how much they need their mother, I mean it's the whole reason they get Wendy to come to Neverland. You must remember this was written pretty much in the Victorian era where the role of women in society was completely different, and was by and large, as mothers and running the house. The whole story centers on that concept and how crucial mothers are to the upbringing of children. As you can see, these boys are all "lost" without their mother. Your incredibly literally translation of Mrs Darling going through their thoughts when they go to sleep, I believe, is a really sweet passage on just a mothers care for their child, making sure they sleep well at night. She never removes any of the Peter dreams for example. It's just a sweet way Barrie was depicting the care mothers take over their children.

To be more pedantic, you criticise Mr Darling for being a buffon though I am not really sure why? What is wrong with him being flawed, it's again a point in the book, and one which again emphasises the role of a mother. Then describing him as strange when his children go missing for: "classified as bizarre: he sleeps in a kennel even going to work with it as penance. is bizarre in itself. If you were to lose your children I think you would be able to react irrationally. How would you like him to be portrayed? I don't really understand. Does this come under your "misogynistic" criticism? Was probably more a subtle dig at Arthur Llewellyn Davies.

Also as other people mentioned, "orgy" derives from 'secret rites or revels' which seems like the kind of thing fairies would do. Not some sex themed blow out you seem to have in your head.

Everyone is entitled to their own opinion but I think you kinda came from the book at the wrong angle and maybe if you read it from another perspective you would see it differently. The key character in all of this is Wendy, and how dependent they all are on Wendy. I wouldn't say that Barrie is "a person who hates or doesn't trust women." on the basis of that alone.


message 17: by lily:) (new)

lily:) Ben, I agree with some of your points, but I disagree with many as well.

Yes, it was written as a play, but Steph reviewed the book. And she reviewed it AS a book. Neither way of looking at it is wrong. And when people compare it to the Disney movie, there's nothing wrong with that either. Since Disney's Peter Pan is based on the book, it's natural for people to compare the two.

It's important to take note of the era in which the book was written in, like you said, but that doesn't mean it's all okay. Something's that were acceptable when this was written are not now, and vice versa.


message 18: by lily:) (new)

lily:) Ben, I agree with some of your points, but I disagree with many as well.

Yes, it was written as a play, but Steph reviewed the book. And she reviewed it AS a book. Neither way of looking at it is wrong. And when people compare it to the Disney movie, there's nothing wrong with that either. Since Disney's Peter Pan is based on the book, it's natural for people to compare the two.

It's important to take note of the era in which the book was written in, like you said, but that doesn't mean it's all okay. Something's that were acceptable when this was written are not now, and vice versa.


message 19: by Anna (new)

Anna No... Peter Pan is menat to show us how difficult it is to decide wether to grow up or stay young. Young, is of course, the most obvious choice but look at Peter... he is selfish and heartless, like every child - including myself, possibly - but when he cares, he cares a lot. Peter Pan is meant to get inside your mind through the path of imagination, to bring you a sense of time and growing up, no matter how many sword fights, jealous Tinker Bells, and wild Peter Pans it needs to get there.


message 20: by Anna (new)

Anna I understood it perfectly fine, and I'm in middle school. Not the best choice for third graders, Lily, I do agree. But it's one of those books where you have to have read lots of books to really get.


message 21: by Bibliogrub (new)

Bibliogrub Yes! This is indeed a dark book. Which is why I enjoyed it. It ignored rationality and morality. I truly felt bad for captain hook. He and Pan have some deeply rooted shade that go way back. I'm sure of it.


message 22: by Vika (new)

Vika Len Finally someone pointed out the misogyny. It’s oozing between the lines in the first ten or so pages, and it becomes extremely overt once Wendy gets to Neverland. Her identity by that point was essentially be the entire support system of badly raised boys, because that’s a “lady’s” purpose in life.


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