A story of a dead child and a mother who is missing him.Sir James Matthew Barrie (1860-1937), a Scottish, wrote this book in 1902 for an older brother, David (his mothers favorite) who died in an ice-skating accident the day before he turned 14. Thus, in his mothers mind, David always stayed as a young boy who would not grow up. J. M. Barrie, a middle-child and then only 6 years old, tried to assume Davids place in his mothers heart by wearing the latters clothes and speaking and sounding like him. Barrie was 42 when Peter Pan (the character) first appeared in his other novel, The Little White Bird but the emotion of longing (the child missing his mother and the mother missing his son) can be felt by the readers as if the death only happened recently.
For me, this attests to Barries brilliance as a novelist.They say that losing ones child is the most painful grief that a parent can have. A parent burying his child is in contradiction to the natural cycle of life. Thus, it is a lifelong journey of grief for the parents. The very young Barrie saw this pain in his mothers heart and so he tried his best to act, speak and sound like his brother.
A mother missing her child. In the story this is symbolized by the open bedroom window waiting for Wendy, John and Michael to return. When they finally do, Peter tries closing it but when he sees the tears in Mrs. Darlings eyes, he says we dont want any silly mothers- and he flew away. making it a triumph of a mothers unconditional heart.
A child longing for his mothers love. This is symbolized by Peter asking for Wendy to be his mother and probably Tink and probably even Mrs. Darling. This is the moral of the story: we all need mothers especially those whose windows are and will always be open for us.A beautiful book. Mesmerizing prose. A fantasy adventure childrens book on the surface. But a sad emotion-filled story of a mother and her son somewhere inside. It has the ethereal beauty of Antoine de Saint-Exuperys Le Petite Prince and the subtle meaningful cycle-of-life lesson in E. B. Whites Charlottes Web, two of favorite childrens books.
My only regret is that fathers like me are sidelined. We fathers have hearts too and we would like to be part of that love. Why did Barrie depict Mr. Darling as crazy feeding Nana his medicine and has to sleep in the kernel?You see, my windows are also open.