Honors: All College Participants

Title

Wendy's Story: The Necessity of Women in Peter Pan

Academic Level at Time of Presentation

Senior

Major

English Literature

Minor

Creative Writing

List all Project Mentors & Advisor(s)

Dr. Andy Black

Presentation Format

Oral Presentation

Abstract/Description

Although known today as simply Peter Pan, J.M. Barrie’s classic children’s novel was originally titled Peter and Wendy. This shift in title reflects in many ways readers’ tendency to approach the text through Peter’s dynamism alone. This paper explores the famous children’s story from Wendy Darling’s perspective, taking particular interest in the narrator’s contradictory stance on Wendy her agency in the original novelized text. Peter Pan may be the most well known of Barrie’s characters, but the novel’s story is Wendy’s. The relationship between a mother and her children forms the crux of the novel; without Wendy, without her relationship with her own mother and her desire to play grown-up, there is no story. Peter Pan is at its core about the necessity of adulthood and the danger of nostalgia. Peter embodies childhood’s contrariness, but without Wendy’s practicality he faces no real temptation beyond his own inherent mirth. Wendy forms a bridge between reality and Neverland; her internal conflict over either growing up or living forever in childhood make-believe is the story’s central conflict as well. The paper, then, is an examination of Wendy’s story and her importance both within the text and outside it as a classic character famously embedded in popular culture.

Location

Classroom 211, Waterfield Library

Start Date

November 2016

End Date

November 2016

Affiliations

Honors Thesis

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Nov 16th, 9:00 AM Nov 6th, 12:30 PM

Wendy's Story: The Necessity of Women in Peter Pan

Classroom 211, Waterfield Library

Although known today as simply Peter Pan, J.M. Barrie’s classic children’s novel was originally titled Peter and Wendy. This shift in title reflects in many ways readers’ tendency to approach the text through Peter’s dynamism alone. This paper explores the famous children’s story from Wendy Darling’s perspective, taking particular interest in the narrator’s contradictory stance on Wendy her agency in the original novelized text. Peter Pan may be the most well known of Barrie’s characters, but the novel’s story is Wendy’s. The relationship between a mother and her children forms the crux of the novel; without Wendy, without her relationship with her own mother and her desire to play grown-up, there is no story. Peter Pan is at its core about the necessity of adulthood and the danger of nostalgia. Peter embodies childhood’s contrariness, but without Wendy’s practicality he faces no real temptation beyond his own inherent mirth. Wendy forms a bridge between reality and Neverland; her internal conflict over either growing up or living forever in childhood make-believe is the story’s central conflict as well. The paper, then, is an examination of Wendy’s story and her importance both within the text and outside it as a classic character famously embedded in popular culture.