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Free The Conflict of Childhood and Adulthood in Peter Pan Essay Sample

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The paper The Conflict of Childhood and Adulthood in J.M. Barrie’s Peter Pan describes the opposition between the child’s and adult’s perceptions of world and life. The example of this conflict is the fight of Peter Pan against Captain Hook.

The paper describes the dramatic changes, which occurred in the perception of the child and childhood and in the attitude to the child. In the literature of that period the world of childhood is not showed as an introduction to a productive adulthood, but as the alternative to this adulthood. J.M. Barrie was the author, who summed up the almost century-long development of children’s literature in England.

Both in Victorian society and in Neverland there are adults and children, and there are similarities and contrasts between these two worlds. The real world is in opposition to imaginary one. Thus, in the real world the Darlings family, Mr. and Mrs. Darling, represent the adults, and Wendy, Michael and John represent the children. In Neverland the adult world is represented by Captain Hook, an enemy to children, though partly childish himself.

J. M. Barrie’s demonstration of the conflict between adulthood and childhood in the story is shown in several ways. Besides the direct conflict between Peter Pan and Hook, Barrie shows the connection between the imaginative life, and the solemn, serious concerns of adult people. Captain Hook is an example of a grownup, who tries to escape the world of adults just like Peter Pan, but his tragedy is that he is an adult already, and can’t return to the world of children represented by Peter Pan. 

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