ENG234 – Essay 1 (Topic 7)
The power of narration: Peter Pan
The narrator in J.M Barrie’s Peter Pan creates readers to develop a consciousness of form through the knowledge from narratives. The more they read the more readers would uncontrollably start to grow up. The narrator readdresses the story from a third person viewpoint with a first person opinion, prompting a unique presence. However readers know that the narrator is not in the story, he has no material existence and hovers in the background throughout the novel. The narrator subliminally hinders readers’ thoughts and imaginations with thoughts of his own. It resembles how an adult would tell a story to a child, giving their teachings and opinions on morals as they narrate the story. The use of the dual perspectives has effectively and simultaneously created a distinct separation between the story and the readers – two dimensions were created. One dimension is the story world and the other is the reader’s world. Readers cannot touch the story world nor can the story world touch the reader’s world (the reality). The narrator is the only one who can go between the two dimensions. We, as the readers, can only perceive the story by reading the narrator’s mind – we are not reading what he sees but what he perceives. He is our frame of perception. To continue, he demonstrates his ability to interact with the characters. For example, he offers a proposition to Mrs. Darling saying he could spare her ten days of pain by returning her children to her earlier in exchange to give the children a cold shoulder. “But, my dear madam, it is ten days till Thursday week; so that by telling you what’s what, we can save you ten days of unhappiness.” (PP, p.136) In fact his ability does not even provide any useful progression for the novel. The proposition makes the story seems very malleable, as if it was being improvised, yet the use of past tense in the entire novel creates the paradox to show that it is fixed. The...
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