“The moment you doubt whether you can fly, you cease to be able to do it”- Peter Pan
With every fairy tale told to us as children, we develop our own perception of what these characters are like. We seem to always believe that unless a character is directly deemed “evil”, then they are inherently good. I always thought that about the fairy tale world and believed that there was a simple divide between good and evil. The Evil Queen was on one side while Snow White was on the other. The queen only did bad things and made things worse for other people, while Snow White did everything good and only wanted to help others. However, I do not think this is always the case.
For example, I do not trust Peter Pan. I may have when I was a child but I don’t anymore. His first appearance to the Darlings is not one that is particularly nice or friendly. The only reason he was at their window in the first place was to listen to the stories that their mother told them as the 3 siblings fell asleep. He also rummaged around their room, throwing things about at will, while looking for his shadow. He even tricked the Darling siblings into coming with him to Neverland and all the while he did not even seem to care about them. He thought himself to be the greatest, had the best flying ability, and was the only one who really knew what was going on. He never told them what was going to happen to them when they got to the island and he also made games out of their misery. He makes jokes at their expense and does not try to help them in anyway unless it is of benefit to himself.
My view of Peter Pan may have also come from the amazing portrayal of him on the show Once Upon a Time (airing Sundays on ABC) by 18 year old British actor Robbie Kay. He did such an amazing job portraying Pan as a conniving, cunning and downright evil person. But Kay did it in such a way that you couldn’t help but love to hate him. What I loved most about this portrayal of Pan, and Kay’s superb acting ability, was that you found yourself loving Pan despite his flaws. He didn’t try to be anyone but himself. He didn’t try and pretend that he was a good person. He tricked and trifled with you and as an audience member, I couldn’t help but be on his side. I was always on his side, no matter what.
I found this portrayal of Pan to completely accurate, especially learning about his true nature when reading this story. Although I do not trust Peter Pan, I respect him. I understand why he is the way he is. He is a child who has never had to grow up. He has never learned the difference between right and wrong and so he simply does what he wants. He thinks he does things for the right reasons. If he even knows what “right” means. Peter Pan is many things and like many of us wish to be, always a child at heart.