Peter Pan Study Guide

Peter Pan By James M. Barrie

Peter Pan, the ever-youthful flying adventurer, frequents the open window of Mrs. Mary Darling's house most evenings, because he loves to listen to her bedtime stories. One night, he is spotted, and loses his shadow while escaping. He wakes Mary's daughter, Wendy Darling, when trying to reclaim it, and she helps him re-attach it. He invites her to Neverland with him to be a mother to the Lost Boys. Wendy agrees, and her brothers John and Michael go along for the ride.

Their flight to Neverland is interrupted when the children are blown out of the air by a cannon, and the Lost Boy 'Tootles' nearly kills Wendy. Peter and the Boys build a house for Wendy to recuperate in, while John and Michael join the Lost Boys. Peter finally invites Wendy into his underground home, and she immediately assumes a matronly role.

Peter takes the Darlings to Mermaid's Lagoon, where they rescue the Indian princess Tiger Lily from pirates, and get into a battle. Peter is wounded by the pirate captain Hook, and believes he will die, as he is stranded on a rock by the rising tide. He prepares for death, as it is "an awfully big adventure", but a bird gives him her nest, and he uses it as a boat to sail home.

Having won the favor of the Indians, they protect his home from a pirate attack. When Wendy thinks she may be falling in love with Peter, he hurts her feelings with his confusion, and Wendy decides to go home. Unbeknownst to Peter, Captain Hook captures the Darlings, and puts poison in Peter's medicine.

When Peter awakes, the fairy Tinkerbell tells Peter of the Darling's plight, and in an effort to please Wendy, Peter goes to take his medicine. Tinkerbell, with no time to explain, simply drinks the medicine herself and nearly dies. Peter draws on the dreams of the children who are thinking of him, and Tinkerbell is saved.

Peter encounters Hook's nemesis, the ticking crocodile, on the way to rescue the Darlings, and learns to mimic its tick. In so doing, he scares Hook into hiding, and rifles Hook's room looking for the keys to the brig. The pirates hear him and attack, but he fights them off. Hook finally reveals himself, and he and Peter fight a dual which ends in Peter kicking Hook into the jaws of the ticking crocodile.

Peter then takes the ship back to London, where Mary Darling agrees to adopt the Lost Boys. She offers to adopt Peter as well, but Peter is afraid of being made 'a man'. There is a hint that Mary Darling knew Peter when she was young, but it is not made clear. Finally, Peter promises Wendy that he will return every Spring, and Wendy prays that Peter will not forget his promise.

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