By flying "second to the right, and straight on 'till morning" you can be taken into the fictitious world of "Peter Pan" and Neverland. This classic story by J.M. Barrie may have been written as a children's book, but there are several adult themes throughout the story. When developing a thesis idea based on "Peter Pan" there are several themes, ideas and social issues that can be incorporated.
Social Attitudes Toward Women
The role of motherhood is a theme that is seen throughout the story. A thesis based on this ideal can focus on the role that women play in this story. For example, is Wendy a substitute mother for Peter Pan? Does he look at her as more of a mother figure than a friend? Tinkerbell is very protective of Peter Pan. What role does she play? Compare and contrast the roles of the female characters in this story to the roles society perceives women should have: the protector, the nurturer or the caregiver. You can also focus on the time period of when this story was written and compare it to modern day roles of women.
Peter Pan Syndrome
According to "ScienceDaily," Peter Pan Syndrome affects people "who do not want or feel unable to grow up, people with the body of an adult but the mind of a child." A unique angle to this thesis would be to study the effect of this syndrome on women. Although this is a predominately male psychological issue, women can suffer from it as well. The theme of aging and death are touched upon in the book. There is a fantasy element that people can relate to, which is the fact that you never have to grow up. Are people using this fantasy element as a coping mechanism for their everyday problems? What about Captain Hook? Is he suffering from this syndrome? Although he is an adult, he doesn't want to face getting older and dying.
Treatment of Disabilities
In the book, Captain Hook said "disabled people are menacing and dangerous." Does this reflect the attitude of Captain Hook or was this a common notice during the time period when this story was written? J. M. Barrie wrote this play in the early 1900s. For a thesis idea, one could focus on the perception and treatment of people with disabilities in literature and the social implications of this time period. One can explore the role of people with disabilities and how it may have affected the main character or villain of the story.
Violence in Literature
The Lost Boys in "Peter Pan" play a major role in helping Peter Pan defeat Captain Hook. Is there any difference between them and a modern day gang? The Lost Boys are opposed to orders and authority and have a leader. They also fight the pirates and Captain Hook. Do the Lost Boys transcend into everyday life? On the other hand, the pirates result in more violence than the Lost Boys. They are not afraid to fight and steal. Are the Lost Boys more easily forgiven because they are children? Are the pirates modern day bullies because they pick on the children?
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Peter Pan Classroom Activities
Children love the story of Peter Pan, who flew around Never Land with Tinker Bell and the Lost Boys, fighting Captain Hook....