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Peter Pan

by J. M. Barrie
225 pages, Fantasy
Reviewed by Larka284

It was a fun, exciting fairy tale with a dark atmosphere due to the violent and selfish undertones.

Plot

The three Darling children (Michael, John, and Wendy) fly away to Neverland with Peter Pan, the boy who can't grow up. When they reach the island, they realize that the place that they once had pleasant dreams of is really a dangerous place, with the wicked Captain Hook at the head of the danger.

Morality

The book is much darker than the Disney movie of Peter Pan. All of the children participate in battles where they kill other humans and later have no remorse for their actions. Peter Pan is arrogant and only cares about the well being of others if his actions will make him out to be a hero. The children readily abandon those who love them and show no shame over doing so. The lines between who is good and bad are blurred because the violent redskins are later portrayed as good without having changed their ways, some of Captain Hook's actions of treachery and violence are hailed as genius, and the pirate Smee is described as lovable despite his murderous past.

Spiritual Content

The afterlife is mentioned as being "a great adventure" when one of the characters thinks he will die. He stops being afraid of death and looks forward to it if it must come. Peter Pan is treated like a god by the Lost Boys in that they count on him to guide them and save them when they are in trouble. They obey him without question, even when his judgment isn't sound.

Violence

The book has a great deal of violence, and much of it is described in gory detail. Peter tells the Darling children that he has killed many pirates and has no remorse for it. Peter and the Lost Boys are described as having fought with the redskins regularly. Smee's killing methods are described in detail and Captain Hook kills a few people by gutting them with his hook. Peter Pan cuts off Hook's hand and throws it to a crocodile to eat. The pirates attack a group of redskins and massacre them. Hook tries to poison Peter, and Tinkerbell almost dies. The pirates plan to make the children walk the plank. All of the children attack the pirates to gain their freedom and kill almost all of them with a ruthless and merciless attitude.

Drug and Alcohol Content

The book briefly mentions that the redskins smoke a peace pipe.

Sexual Content

Peter and Wendy kiss each other once.

Crude or Profane Language or Content

Tinker Bell gets angry several times in the book and calls people a silly a**.

Conclusion

The book was an enjoyable fairy tale with entertaining adventures. It was very well written, with the author addressing the reader directly and making the adventures seem to be happening at that very moment. It is not a story for young children, being much darker than a simple fairy tale. The violence and negative actions and characteristics of the children make the book appropriate only for those who can separate good qualities from bad.

Fun Score: 5
Values Score: 2
Written for Age: 13+

Review Rating:

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