After watching that most bittersweet of children’s tales, Peter Pan, tonight I found myself taken back by that inner desire to never truly grow up, to live in a world full of vast imagination and seemingly eternal happiness. The boy who never grew up. The adult who wishes to be the boy again. The conflict of good and evil and its heroic shaping of the human heart. I watched Peter Pan (2003), starring Jason Isaacs as Hook and Jeremy Sumpter as Peter. It’s an amazing movie and I remember watching it when it first came out.
Why do we all wish we were this boy who never grew up? I suppose any child at some point questions whether they will ever grow up or stay a child forever, that innocence of not-knowing their own fate. In the world of the adults, we have villains and we have something even more intimidating, responsibility. A child, most of their time, will not realise what such external pressures and life forces await them once they hit the adult phase. Bills, more bills, work, social commitments (God help us with this one), personal accountability, education (If they so choose, after school), the horrors of the media and news (If not already watching it), the vast internet, the magic of illicit substances, drinking and smoking, culture and the ideas of classes in society and the divide between rich and poor, the motivation behind their own desires, the temptation to overwork or not to work, a world full of completely awful things.
If that child is so fortunate to be shielded or have a moderately good upbringing in a fairly well-off family, they might not be exposed to reality for the majority of their childhood or teen years, sometimes beyond, or quite possibly, never, if they have the wealth. We all deep down in our adult hearts wish to be in a simple time, a place with no responsibility and where we had the glow and shine of being children. A timeless story and one which can be told anywhere and to anyone. Did you ever have thoughts as a child or never growing up? How do you feel now you have, is it that daunting?
I wish sometimes to understand what has happened to me. But, through the course of my life have come to the answer myself. I will never have the answer. Why did I go through this? Why would that feel so long ago, yet, it is not that long ago? Did you ever find yourself not wanting to wake up from that dream? Do you feel younger in dreams? Oh, how the dream has long played a role in our lives.
The haunting reality of the world is extremely disturbing even to the strongest willed of us. The attempt to blanket that with the use of fairy tales, and to provide entertainment and life lessons, is quite popular. One only needs to look at Disney (Who also made an animated Peter Pan) to see the attempt to shield children from the world and to make it look colourful and full of love and happy endings. Over the years, movies have changed slightly, not all of them are happy endings and ‘live forever after’ in love. But, it is not for people to make such movies, because children do need love and good to conquer evil and fear, otherwise what is being taught to them? Peter Pan, the boy who never grew up, a desire of many men, yet, the envy of a lot of adults. To see beyond what is presented and to understand why the story is significant is important, ironically, to becoming an adult.
Please like, comment and follow if you found this post interesting. I would be glad to hear your thoughts on this, particularly, which characters did you connect with as children. Did you ever find yourself wondering, just how long ago was I an 8 year old kid, in love with children’s movies, oblivious to earth and your own ultimate fate?