Wednesday, January 6, 2010

"Well, well, a codfish on a hook!"

It would seem that a fair few of my blog posts have been aimed at ruining everybody's childhood and/or perception of innocence. I apologize; it is simply the way I think. That said, here's another one!:

In the eyes of many, one character stands out as being the absolute embodiment of childhood. I am, of course, speaking of Peter Pan; the pinnacle of childish innocence, merriment, and mischief. As one who never grows up, Peter maintains his youthful sense of adventure, and often engages in playful trickery, such as children do. However, there is a darker side of Peter that everybody manages to gloss over with a shocking amount of indifference, and that is that Peter is a complete sociopath. Looking past his already apparent lack of regard for just about everything, clearly shown in the way he callously casts Tinkerbell (his only real friend) off "forever" then immediately forgets about it, Peter engages in a good deal of horrifyingly sadistic behavior without batting an eye, particularly in his conduct with his nemesis, Captain Hook. On one of the more notable occasions (mentioned, but not actually shown in the book or in the movies,)Peter Pan is known to have actually SEVERED HOOK'S LEFT HAND and FED IT TO A CROCODILE. Not only did this require active handling of the severed appendage, but a conscious decision to do so, rather than ending the duel with his opponent's death (such as is customary) instead, choosing to leave him in agony to deal with the massive bloodloss, then feeding the hand to a crocodile so that it might develop a taste for Hook's flesh and follow him until it got a chance to pull him underwater, drown him, and tear him to shreds. And you know what? He gloats about it! Peter Pan actually speaks gleefully of the incident. Also, keep in mind that the reason Hook is after Pan in the first place is out of revenge for cutting off his hand. This means that he would have had no reason to do so prior to that. THAT is messed up. Furthermore, there is a certain point in the Disney adaptation in which Hook is dangling by his namesake prosthetic from a cliff as the crocodile circles hungrily below. Peter is actually prepared to kick him off the ledge to his death without a second thought, despite Hook's pleas for mercy, and is only dissuaded by Wendy (who, by the way, he only cares about because she's hot, judging by the fact that he's really not all that torn up when she leaves.) You can tell that, had she not been there, he would have been perfectly content to let him fall. Keep in mind as well that, during this time, he has completely forgotten about the actively drowning Princess Tigerlilly, and when he finally does remember (when she's past her nose in water) he acts as though he just remembered that he left his keys on the kitchen table.
Beyond that, the only time he really displays a real emotion towards another being besides anger is when Tinkerbell is about to die. Makes sense, with her being his mother/sister/lover(-ish figure?) but when contrasted with the fact that he is perfectly content to let his lost boys practically kill each other, and the fact that he didn't really take much initiative to stop the mermaids from drowning Wendy, it really doesn't seem quite so redeeming.

In short, say what you will about childhood egocentrism and the accompanying playful disregard for others, but I'm pretty sure that Peter Pan goes far beyond that. Peter is definitely aware of what he's doing and how it affects others, he just doesn't care, so there's no argument for innocence. At any rate, Peter Pan is a complete sadist, no doubt about it, and no matter which way you look at it, the boy who wouldn't grow up is completely cracked.


Jessica Grosland said...

I think that you simply underestimate men. Have you ever had a thirteen-year-old little brother? They're ALL sadists, it's just that most of them don't have swords or crocodiles at hand to fully demonstrate their psychoticism.

P.S. I think you're just mad that he never hooked up with Tinkerbell. Well, in the name of destroying childhood innocence, can you imagine the complications that would result from the outrageous difference in size? OUCH. What Tinkerbell needs to do is break down the fourth wall, fly to Thumbelina's house and Cornelius to hook her up with some fairy boy. Hopefully one with a bumblebee.

The Erin said...

I suppose I've never known many 13 year old boys well enough.
At any rate, I like the Thumbelina idea, however, if you've seen any of the Tinkerbell Pixie Hollow movies, you'll know that she already has a ready supply of men. I only wish she wouldn't hook up with the one voiced by Jesse McCartney... She's smarter than that...

Laurel and David Lowe said...

Dear Erin,

I congratulate you on your impeccable knack in finding the unsettling in the seemingly benign. Please continue to do so, as it entertains me endlessly. I enjoy seeing things from a different, albeit twisted, perspective.


The Erin said...

Dear Laurel,

Your vocabulary words never cease to illuminate my day. Thank You


MisssRobin said...

I agree with you, Erin. Let's try him as an adult!

Anonymous said...

YOu. Are. My favorite.