Lulu Al Sabah
8 January 2014
Fairytales appeal to all age groups who seek escape, entertainment and look for guidance in their journey in life. In Peter Pan, J. M. Barrie uses archetypes and motifs that establish the story as a fairytale. Among the features of the fairytale are having the setting in a magical land, having a hero and a villain and having major characters on a quest. Barrie creates the Neverland as the land of dreams where these archetypes and motifs come to life to tell a story of escape, adventure and journey, putting this story clearly in the fairytale genre. Barrie uses a variety of archetypes but among the most that strengthen the fairytale genre of the story are Captain Hook and Peter, as villain and eternal boy/hero. Captain Hook is Neverland’s villain who apart from doing evil deeds wants to kill Peter Pan. “ Hook always carried about his person a dreadful drug, blended by himself of all the death-dealing rings that had come into his possession”(111-112). This quote clearly shows Hook’s evil nature. He will later use this drug to try to kill Peter Pan. Barrie creates Peter Pan as the eternal boy who stands up to Hook’s evil actions. Sometimes Peter’s childish behavior weakens his hero archetype. “Now Peter could never resist a game”(80). This quote shows that while he can get the advantage over Hook as a real hero, he can just as easily throw that away by following his boyish tendencies. Barrie further uses female archetypes to develop the story as a fairytale. Wendy and Tinker bell are also key to enhancing the story’s fairytale qualities by contrasting the archetype of the ideal woman with the archetype of the childish female. Wendy represents motherhood throughout the story, caring for Peter, the lost boys and her younger brothers. “Wendy’s favorite time for sewing and darning was after they had all gone to bed”(69). Here Barrie presents the teenage girl Wendy as a mature mother performing maternal duties...
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