First off, we have Tinkerbell who is so selfish and conceded she cannot even allow another woman near her men. She would rather they shoot down the “Wendy-bird” than bring another girl into their lives. Thus females are spiteful and jealous. Even Captain Hook (Hans Conried) says, “A jealous female can be tricked into anything.” He uses her emotion against her. He tricks and manipulates her easily.
Wendy (Kathryn Beaumont) is “a mother to tell [them] stories”. She is meant to take care of and entertain the Lost Boys. Maternity is a woman’s main role.
The mermaids are the next set of female characters we see. They are obsessed with Peter (Bobby Driscoll) and jealous of Wendy. They look down on her for being in her nightgown and try to “drown her”. Girls are violent and judgmental, at least to other girls.
Tigerlilly gets kidnapped by Captain Hook. She doesn’t even get to speak. She represents women as silent, easily tricked, and damsels in distress.
I personally like Wendy’s choice: “Squaw go home!” She asserts her independence. Wendy is “practical” and does not want to fit into stereotypical roles. She believes in her own mother, not that she is their mother.
Women are jealous, manipulative, and violent. However, they play the roles of mother, damsel in distress, and sexual attraction. It is rough being a female!
While I do not assert these are the only roles a woman should play, they are the ones presented in Peter Pan.
Here is an analysis of how Wendy develops from child to adult through this book and movie.
As expected, there are many interpretation of the racism and sexism of this story. This article examines both.
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