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Peter Pan Killed Lost Boys in the Original Book

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These personality traits were an attempt by the author to showcase his failure to understand or appreciate human life, much in the same way that many young children fail to fully understand the permanency or tragedy of death. In one line he says,

To die will be an awfully big adventure“.

~Peter Pan clearly showing his immaturity and disconnection with the permanency of death.

Having just read how different Peter Pan was, wait until you read about Pinocchio.

This is of course our own interpretation of the text. The author, J M Barrie, never explicitly reveals what “thin them out” means. It could actually mean that he sends them packing, but it doesn’t really fit in with the darker theme of Peter’s personality.

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13 thoughts on “Peter Pan Killed Lost Boys in the Original Book

  1. “I wonder sometimes what was going through the minds of some authors. The original book of Peter Pan, much like the original tales of The Pied Piper of Hamelin, Cinderella, Sleeping Beauty and Snow White, was at times cruel, sinister and dark.”

    This is entirely the point. These are morality tales, cautions, warnings, etc. Peter Pan is about the selfishness of childhood and the idea that we all need to grow up when the time comes. Peter and Hook are both running from time, while Wendy (the hero of the story) accept the end of childhood.

    Red Riding Hood was about staying on the path and not talking to strangers. Cinderella was a warning about what happens when you are greedy and selfish.The Pied Piper warns about what might happen if you break promises.

    The world is at times cruel, sinister and dark. Story is one way that humans have used to prepare people for the world since we first started gathering around fires.

  2. “One of the sinister things that Peter Pan would do is ”thin the lost boys out ” when there were too many of them or when they got too old. In other words, Peter Pan would kill lost boys, his own friends.”

    No, in other words: he would make them leave Neverland. And most probably by forcing them to return to the real world. Because, why not? The same thing happened to Wendy and her brothers. And I like to know the source for the ‘switching parts’ fable.

  3. No, it COULD also mean he kills them. In the context of the Barrie text, which has some very dark undertones there is no way of knowing for certain whether “thins them out” means kills them or makes them leave. I take issue with the OP stating that it’s killing as fact BUT it is equally not fact that it doesn’t mean that.

    For the issue of changing sides. I find no reference to it for the Lost Boys (I think that one is a fable). However he DOES pull this trick with the Indians in battle for, according to the text, the “fun” of it. (I’m going off the 1924 edition here.

  4. No, it COULD also mean he kills them. In the context of the Barrie text, which has some very dark undertones there is no way of knowing for certain whether “thins them out” means kills them or makes them leave. I take issue with the OP stating that it’s killing as fact BUT it is equally not fact that it doesn’t mean that.

    For the issue of changing sides. I find no reference to it for the Lost Boys (I think that one is a fable). However he DOES pull this trick with the Indians in battle for, according to the text, the “fun” of it. (I’m going off the 1924 edition here.

  5. In the original there was no hook. But Barrie needed a scene so that the crew could go from Neverland to London etc.

  6. thin out simply means he cut the ranks either by telling the ones that got to old to leave the camp or taking them home to the regular world

  7. I do not think they ever left Neverland.Remember that only Peter and tinkerbell knew the way and that they could only get that dust from Peter. I know you want to believe they left Neverland but this is impossible. Yes Wendy and the twins left Neverland, but Wendy was special and forced Peter to bring her back. Even if they were not killed directly they were forced to attach themselves to adult groups in Neverland , one of which is the pirates which Peter actively hunted. About switching sides the thing is most of the dark actions of Peter are just one sentence here and there. You usually do not see them unless you search for them Re-Read the book and look for it. Is a single sentence pretty cleverly hidden.

    Chapter 7: “It was a sanguinary [cheerful] affair, and especially interesting as showing one of Peter’s peculiarities, which was that in the middle of a fight he would suddenly CHANGE SIDES.”

    These dark parts of Peter are well hidden and unless you are searching for them is hard to find them.

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