I am currently in the fourth chapter of J.M. Barrie’s Peter Pan. Peter has officially been introduced to Wendy and the reader, and it is evident that he is an arrogant and ignorant child that will never grow old. The fact that Peter will never grow old leads me to believe that Barrie is attempting to define what it means to be a child. What better opportunity is there to define a child when there exists Peter Pan, a character that literally cannot be anything but a child. On the other hand, Wendy, while she is still a child, contains characteristics of an adult. As Barrie puts it, as soon as you realize that you are going to grow old one day, you have reached the beginning of the end. I believe that Barrie has included Wendy’s characteristics to contrast the definition of childhood in Peter and adulthood in Wendy. I am curious to read more about this duo and what implications they may reveal about what it means to be a child.
One aspect that I do not find acceptable is the very loose line that Barrie creates that separates child from adult. For example, why does Mr. Darling trick his son, Michael, into drinking his medicine while he cannot do so himself? Is Barrie telling me that this man is not so much of a man after all? This event has caused me a great deal of confusion, all I hope for is a more defined line between existing as a child and an adult.