Peter Pan Summary and Study Guide

J. M. Barrie

Peter Pan

  • 26-page comprehensive study guide
  • Features 17 chapter summaries and 6 sections of expert analysis
  • Written by a professional writer who specializes in literary analysis
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Peter Pan Summary and Study Guide

SuperSummary, a modern alternative to SparkNotes and CliffsNotes, offers high-quality study guides for challenging works of literature.  This 26-pages guide for “Peter Pan” by J. M. Barrie includes detailed chapter summaries and analysis covering 17 chapters, as well as several more in-depth sections of expert-written literary analysis. Featured content includes commentary on major characters, 25 important quotes, essay topics, and key themes like A Mother’s Role and Growing Up.

Plot Summary

Mr. and Mrs. Darling worry about money before they have three children: Wendy, John, and Michael. In an effort to save money, they hire a dog to be their nanny. One night, a flying boy tries to come into the house. The dog, Nana, is able to shut the window before the boy can make it inside. However, the window cuts the boy’s shadow off, which Mrs. Darling folds and puts away in a drawer. Despite their fear that the boy will return, Mr. Darling ties Nana up outside, and he and Mrs. Darling head to a party. The same night they go to the party, the boy returns with his fairy, Tinker Bell. They scour the nursery and find the boy’s shadow.

However, the boy is not able to reattach his shadow. He sits down on Wendy’s bed and cries. When she wakes up, she asks him what is wrong, and he shows her that he can’t attach his shadow. She sews it back on for him. The boy tells Wendy his name is Peter Pan. When Wendy finds out Peter wants someone to tell stories for him and his friends, she convinces him to take her with him. They wake her brothers and all of them fly off into the night. Before they arrive on the island, they are separated in the sky. Tinker Bell convinces Peter’s friends, the lost boys, to shoot Wendy out of the sky.

The boys are devastated when they learn that they’ve shot their new mother, and they nurse her back to health and build her a home. Through various adventures, the lost boys, Peter, and Wendy face the pirates and their Captain, Hook. All the while, Peter insists that all mothers are bad, except Wendy. Wendy takes care of Peter and the lost boys: feeding them, teaching them, and nursing them. Sometimes the line between real and make-believe is blurred.

One night, Wendy tells the story she tells often. Peter, who normally doesn’t listen, sits and watches. The story is about her parents and how they keep the window open always, waiting for their children to return. The others are fascinated and ask Wendy when the children will return. She decides at that moment that they should return home that night. Peter pretends he doesn’t care and tells them they can go.

Up above their subterranean home, Captain Hook and his pirates await. They capture Wendy and the others when they emerge to leave. Tinker Bell wakes Peter and tells him what has happened. He vows that he will save them and it will be either him or Hook this time. On Captain Hook’s ship, he saves the others, and kills Captain Hook. The lost boys return home with Wendy and her brothers.

Wendy tries to convince Peter to stay with her and the others, but he insists he never wants to grow up. Instead, they agree Peter will come each spring to bring Wendy to the Neverland so she can clean. After a couple of visits, Peter forgets to come for Wendy and she grows up. However, when he arrives again to find her grown up, he takes her daughter. And so it continues.

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