Questions People Ask About Peter Pan - Answered!
Peter Pan and its thematic material often make people wonder quite a lot of things about it. So, here are some rather frequently-asked questions answered. Please note that unless otherwise noted, the information pertains to J.M. Barrie's works, not Disney's nor any other work derived or based on the play and/or novel.
Q: Is Peter Pan an angel/dead? Are the Lost Boys or Wendy actually dead?
A: No. Please see Are Peter Pan And The Lost Boys Dead? for more information.
Q: Does Peter Pan take dead children to Heaven?
A: In the novel, Wendy's mother recalled hearing that Peter Pan guided children's souls partway to the afterlife, but this was never shown nor in any way confirmed.
Q: Did Peter Pan steal children's souls?
A: J.M. Barrie's Peter Pan did nothing of the sort. The abovementioned unconfirmed tales Wendy's mother heard are the closest the story gets to anything remotely like this.
Q: Did Peter Pan love Wendy Darling?
A: When Wendy asked Peter what his feelings toward her were, he said that they were that of a devoted son. Peter never felt romantic love for Wendy nor anyone else.
Q: Is Peter Pan a fairy?
A: Definitely not. Fairies are depicted as being tiny with voices that sound like bells to human ears, which doesn't describe Peter at all.
Q: Did Peter Pan ever grow up?
A: Only in derivative works based on the original story. Barrie's Peter never grew up.
Q: Was Peter Pan a girl?
A: It was customary for the character of Peter Pan to be played by a woman in stage productions (being that it was easier for an adult woman to pull off Peter's stunts than for a young boy), but the character of Peter Pan was not a girl.
Q: How old is Peter Pan?
A: It's hard to say - evidence flies all over the place. JM Barrie once said that Peter is "one day old," but yet he is clearly not a newborn infant. The book and novel both state that Peter still has all of his baby teeth, which would imply that he's five or younger, but the fact that he's able to hold his own in swordfights against adults and the fact that Wendy, Tinker Bell, and Tiger Lily all have crushes on him suggests that he appears older - plus there's the fact that actresses (take for example, Nina Boucicault and Maude Adams) cast to play him on stage look about the same age as Wendy or even a little older.
Q: Is it true that Peter Pan kills Lost Boys?
A: The novel states that when the Lost Boys "seem to be growing up," Peter "thins them out." This could be taken to mean that he simply kicks them out, but given his character overall it's not difficult to believe that he actually kills them. The novel also mentions that Peter occasionally switches sides in battle just for fun, but in the particular incident the book mentions the Lost Boys all changed sides with him and so none of them ended up fighting Peter.
Q: Was Captain Hook Peter Pan's father?
A: Peter Pan's father is never named, so probably not.
Q: Is Captain Hook a real person?
A: No. Are you perhaps thinking of Captain Cook?
Q: Did Captain Hook die?
A: Yes. Hook dies at the end of the play and the novel by throwing himself into the jaws of the crocodile. Most stories set after Barrie's story ignore this, though.
Q: Was Captain Hook based on a real person?
A: None that we know of for certain, though some suspect he might have been inspired by Captain Christopher Newport and Captain James Cook.
Q: Was Captain Hook a Lost Boy?
A: Captain Hook is never said to be a former Lost Boy, so probably not. What we do know about his past is that is that he attended a "famous public school" (implied to be Eton College), that Hook isn't even his real name and that whoever he actually is would "set the country in a blaze" were it known, and that he was the only pirate whom Long John Silver (referred to by his nickname "Barbecue") feared.
Q: Is Captain Hook Wendy Darling's father?
A: While it was customary for Captain Hook and George Darling to be played by the same actor in stage productions, they're most certainly not the same man at all. Bit hard to terrorize Neverland while you're trying to hold a job at a bank, isn't it?
Q: What street did the Darling family live on?
A: The name of the street is never given, though the novel tells us that they live in "number 14" and the play's script places their residence on "a rather depressed street in Bloomsbury."
Q: Is Tinker Bell a pixie or a fairy?
A: J.M. Barrie only used the word "fairy" to describe Tinker Bell and her kind. On the other hand, Disney's film used the word "pixie." So, depending upon whose story you're following, both are correct.
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