In J. M. Barrie’s Peter Pan, the loss of innocence is a theme that is discussed from the first chapter. “Two is the beginning of the end” (Barrie 2) creates this underlying theme of loss of innocence right from the start. Peter is a kid who ran away from his family so he would not have to grow up and he takes the notion of staying a kid seriously. The loss of innocence comes to light when Wendy, John, Michael, and the Lost Boys leave Neverland and grow up. “We too have been [to Neverland]; we can still hear the sound of the surf, though we shall land no more” (Barrie 12). The loss of innocence and growing up prohibits people from going back to Neverland; a place that they once ran away to in an attempt to not have to grow up.
“[Mrs. Darling] had believed in him at the time, but now that she was married and full of sense she quite doubted whether there was any such person” (Barrie 14). It seems that Mrs. Darling has once believed in Peter but she grew up and the thought of ...view middle of the document...
Slightly says, “I remember kisses” (Barrie 125) which Peter is not introducing into their lives, up until this point, so he did not remember it from Neverland. The Lost Boys are also very excited when Wendy says, “if you will all come with me I feel almost sure I can get my father and mother to adopt you” (Barrie 219). Their reaction, which was full of joy, shows their transition from only wanting adventure with Peter to wanting a family. They have lost their innocence and even Peter understands that “he [could] keep no [person] in the Neverland against [their] will” (Barrie 217). Although Peter feels bitterness towards the Lost Boys for deserting him at the sight of the newest novelty he understands that it is time for them to grow up (Barrie 220).
It is hard to say exactly when the Lost Boys lose their innocence because they remember things from before Neverland but automatically agree with whatever Peter thinks it is. When Slightly said he knew what a kiss was he then immediately agreed with Peter that a kiss was the thimble he was shown (Barrie 125). There are other instances throughout the novel where the Lost Boys in particular agree with whatever Peter thinks even though there is a sense that they know more. When Wendy offers for them to go with her and be adopted they are ecstatic and almost forget about Peter all together. They have finally let their guard down and are exposing their loss of innocence to Peter. It is at this point that they need to leave Neverland and Peter rushes to get their things (Barrie 220).
Peter Pan is a novel filled with sentiment. The Lost Boys lose their innocence and grow up towards the end of the novel; Peter realizes they need to leave but he does not fully understand why. Peter seems to be hurt by the Lost Boys’ choice but he is not going to make them stay. The Lost Boys were remembering things from before Neverland but automatically agreed with Peter on what it was even though they knew otherwise. They did this until Wendy gave them a reason to leave Neverland and have a family once again. Peter Pan is a book that is not only for children but for adults as well and it has struck the hearts of many. “All children, except one, grow up” (Barrie 2) and his name is Peter Pan.
Barrie, James Matthew. Peter Pan. New York: Published by Penguin USA, 1992. Electronic.