Peter Pan


J.M. Barrie

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Peter Pan: Genre 1 key example

Explanation and Analysis—Children's Literature:

First published in 1911, Peter Pan belongs primarily to the genre of children's literature. Many aspects make it so: it has a simple yet enticingly fun prose style, many humorous passages and hilarious character descriptions, and a plot that focuses on the adventures of four children (Peter Pan and the Darlings) through Neverland. For over a century, children have taken great delight in this widely acclaimed novel that exemplifies the so-called Golden Age of children's literature, which comprises the period from the mid-19th century to the early 20th century. Other authors of this era include Alcott, Carroll, and Twain.

The two other genres upon which Peter Pan draws are Victorian realism and folk or fairy tales. London represents the world of Victorian morals, as the Darling parents keep a tidy and strictly-ordered home. By contrast, Neverland represents a fantastical world beyond the real one, a world in which children have the option to remain young forever. Peter Pan leads the Lost Boys through the trials and tribulations of eternal childhood, where they experience the benefits and drawbacks of unfettered freedom. The combination of a few different genres into a single work of children's literature makes this novel a timeless classic that has been popular among children and adults alike for many decades.