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Author Topic: Peter Pan  (Read 7912 times)

SunflowerP

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Re: Peter Pan
« Reply #15 on: December 03, 2011, 06:29:32 am »
Quote from: Darkhawk;32723
Which is a follow-on to this analysis:
http://ursulav.livejournal.com/1471827.html

 
Quote from: Tana;32728
Also... children do not play to be children.
They play to be the adults.

Kids don't want to be annoying little Anakin, they want to be the adult Han Solo.

 
Quote from: Juni;32731
I'm intrigued by the comments in the analysis. I remember quite distinctly as a child wanting to remain a child- the adults in my life were deeply unhappy and never played- but wanting to be out from under their thumb. Neverland was not my first choice of escapes (I preferred Wonderland) but it was toward the top of the list.

Also something I find interesting is Peter's inability to remember things; as an adult I find it unsettling, but as a child I wanted nothing more than to be able to forget things. The idea that someday it would not even be a memory was very appealing to me, and I would have given up good memories without hesitation just to get rid of the bad.

 
(And sometimes, multiquoting is essential to making sense.)

This is the bit I didn't say in my reply last night (silly me, it seemed off-topic):  that "boy who never grows up" is an adult fantasy was obvious to me even when (or maybe especially when, and because) I was a child - if I had included it last night, Darkhawk would be splitting a gut, because I'd have sounded like I'd read Ursula Vernon's post and was paraphrasing.

Juni, I don't think you're really in disagreement (not with Vernon or with me, anyway; can't say yet for the comments) - children's desire to grow up is, I think, centred on it being the obvious means by which to get out from under adult thumbs.  I often quip - most often in response to people over the age of majority saying they don't want to be adults - "I don't mind being an adult, but I hope that I never become a grownup;" for me, "adult" doesn't have nearly as strong of associations that way.  It's just a statement of status - but "grownup" is performative; it's necessary to stop playing to qualify.  Overwhelmingly, when I was being told to perform the cultural construct of maturity, it was "Act like a grownup!"; "adult" was much less often used that way.

That's me; it looks like your associations were formed less from what you were told and more from observation of modelling.  (It also sounds like there was some pretty horrific stuff happening - I don't want to pry, so I'll just {{{Juni}}}.)

And, Tana, spot-on - the characters I wanted to be, or be like, weren't always adult characters, but they were always characters who had autonomy and agency, and who were able to do interesting things.

I'll note also that children play to become adults - it's skill development.  Which of course focuses quite a lot more on learning about autonomy, agency, and the ability to apply them effectively, than on learning the socially-constructed behaviors of "grownup" performativity.

I'm still honing the skills that I think are important to being an adult (not a grownup), which is why I think play is still important.  I have a button (and on Beehive where the profiles included a blank for "favorite quote", it's what I put) that says, "You don't stop playing because you get old.  You get old because you stop playing."

Also, there's an xkcd for that.

Sunflower
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Juni

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Re: Peter Pan
« Reply #16 on: December 03, 2011, 10:31:27 am »
Quote from: SunflowerP;32833
That's me; it looks like your associations were formed less from what you were told and more from observation of modelling.  (It also sounds like there was some pretty horrific stuff happening - I don't want to pry, so I'll just {{{Juni}}}.)

 
I think you're right. I don't think I was able to differentiate between adult and grownup in those years, as I only had grownups in my life- without adequate comparables, I thought they were the same.

And thanks. (((Sunflower))) Luckily, my childhood wish came true in a way; I can remember, but there's no emotion- just facts. Which makes it easier. (Also, I hesitate to use 'horrific', but it was isolating and stressful. The details aren't really OT, though. :))
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Tana

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Re: Peter Pan
« Reply #17 on: December 03, 2011, 11:44:56 am »
Quote from: SunflowerP;32833
"You don't stop playing because you get old.  You get old because you stop playing."


This! This! This! *jumps up and down in excitement*
The difference between adult and grown-up is spot on.

I still refuse to grow-up and remember with horror the grey, dull and soul-less time, when I acted grown-up. No. Fun. At. All.

Luckily I live in a relationship where we both can let our inner children out a lot to play. I couldn't imagine to live with a grown-up. :sick:
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That’s what people never really understood.….Things had to balance.
You couldn’t set out to be a good witch or a bad witch. It never worked out for long.
All you could try to be was a witch, as hard as you could.\'
Terry Pratchett \'Lords and Ladies\'

Confuzzled and proud. :p

SunflowerP

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Re: Peter Pan
« Reply #18 on: December 03, 2011, 12:49:39 pm »
Quote from: SunflowerP;32829
(and of the Ursula Vernon posts, but not the comments)

 
What I'd meant here was that I hadn't yet read the comments on either post.  Now that I have, it's still pretty much true - some of the comments make reference to the Victorians' attitude about childhood innocence, but not with much depth.

That part was disappointing, but it was still worth my while to read 'em - for one thing, the differences in how people elaborated on why they did or didn't want to grow up reminded me how significant class (economic class in particular, more than social class) could be to that.  You'd think when I already had Victorians on my mind I'd remember the relevance of class better.

(Also, Darkhawk?  If your secret plan is to lure me into being a fanficcer, it's working.)

Sunflower
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Darkhawk

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Re: Peter Pan
« Reply #19 on: December 03, 2011, 01:23:36 pm »
Quote from: SunflowerP;32859

(Also, Darkhawk?  If your secret plan is to lure me into being a fanficcer, it's working.)

 
If I had a secret plan it was possibly to get more people reading Ursula, who is kind of awesome. ;)
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Nyktipolos

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Re: Peter Pan
« Reply #20 on: December 03, 2011, 03:47:03 pm »
Quote from: Darkhawk;32864
If I had a secret plan it was possibly to get more people reading Ursula, who is kind of awesome. ;)

 
I read her entire Digger web comic, right to the end, because of you. :P

I think you had posted a bit when Ed was talking about his past or his culture, I believe? I can't exactly remember now.
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Tana

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Re: Peter Pan
« Reply #21 on: December 03, 2011, 03:48:39 pm »
Quote from: Nyktipolos;32887
I read her entire Digger web comic, right to the end, because of you. :P

 
Wow... *bows*
I've read into it and it just... was too much to go on for me.
Very intriguing but, well - a lot.
\'You had to repay, good or bad. There was more than one type of obligation.
That’s what people never really understood.….Things had to balance.
You couldn’t set out to be a good witch or a bad witch. It never worked out for long.
All you could try to be was a witch, as hard as you could.\'
Terry Pratchett \'Lords and Ladies\'

Confuzzled and proud. :p

Jujulinda

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Re: Peter Pan
« Reply #22 on: December 03, 2011, 11:06:44 pm »
Sorry for the bazillion quotes....This thread exploded and it makes me happy. :)
 
Quote from: Darkhawk;32723
This thread is reminding me of Ursula Vernon's very creepy Peter Pan short:
http://ursulav.livejournal.com/1472097.html

Which is a follow-on to this analysis:
http://ursulav.livejournal.com/1471827.html


Thank you very much! I can't wait to read them. And thank you to mandrina for the suggestions.
 
Quote from: Tana;32728
Both pieces: excellent!
I just love the short. Great writing.

And yes, there is really this problem with people suddenly at one point totally going amnesic about how the 'violence' in the old fairy tales didn't bother them a bit as kids and all out of the blue think it is unsuitable for kids.

Also... children do not play to be children.
They play to be the adults.

Kids don't want to be annoying little Anakin, they want to be the adult Han Solo.


I gave my old, illustrated copy of Grimm's Fairytales to my cousin when he was growing  up. He absolutely loved it but my aunt flipped out about how violent and 'perverse' they were. I've never understood that. And of course children play to be adults. They play house, kitchen, pretend they're driving cars or having babies. Building things and such. Kittens attack each other and it's a predator/prey learning experience.
 
Quote from: Juni;32731
Fantastic short! I love it.

I'm intrigued by the comments in the analysis. I remember quite distinctly as a child wanting to remain a child- the adults in my life were deeply unhappy and never played- but wanting to be out from under their thumb. Neverland was not my first choice of escapes (I preferred Wonderland) but it was toward the top of the list.

Also something I find interesting is Peter's inability to remember things; as an adult I find it unsettling, but as a child I wanted nothing more than to be able to forget things. The idea that someday it would not even be a memory was very appealing to me, and I would have given up good memories without hesitation just to get rid of the bad.


I actually never thought about this. I always noticed he didn't remember but I never remembered anything as a kid. I remembered what I taught myself but when any authority figure said anything, in one ear and out the other. I guess that's the same for a lot of kids. When I was a kid and everyone talked all the time, it was a sensory overload. To block it out was self preservation. It still is and I still have serious memory problems. But I didn't have the greatest childhood to put it mildly.

Tana was saying that she played a lot longer then most children as a coping mechanism. I fully understand that. I was home schooled for the first half of my life and as soon as I was done with my work, I was outside until well past the sun went down. Sometimes until 9 or so at night. Coming in was like death to fun for me.


Random but I've tried bringing up these kinds of things, just in discussion, with people. Just for fun and people act like I've just torn apart their childhood. Has anyone ever run into that? I'm not trying to bash people but they act like you're crazy to insinuate that something so "innocent" has double meanings. I got yelled at once for telling someone what really happens in Cinderella. If this makes no sense you all should ignore it.

SunflowerP

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Re: Peter Pan
« Reply #23 on: December 04, 2011, 04:51:41 am »
Quote from: Jujulinda;32923
Sorry for the bazillion quotes....This thread exploded and it makes me happy. :)

 
Oh good -  you'd said it was one of your favorite stories, so I was a bit worried that some of this might harsh your squee.  But I can see my worries were completely misplaced; it sounds like this is exactly the sort of convo you were hoping for, as what you say later indicates:

Quote
Random but I've tried bringing up these kinds of things, just in discussion, with people. Just for fun and people act like I've just torn apart their childhood. Has anyone ever run into that? I'm not trying to bash people but they act like you're crazy to insinuate that something so "innocent" has double meanings. I got yelled at once for telling someone what really happens in Cinderella. If this makes no sense you all should ignore it.

 
Not so random; it ties right in with the "Victorian fetishization of childhood" strand.  We, as a culture, still retain a lot of Victorian POV.

Sunflower
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Jujulinda

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Re: Peter Pan
« Reply #24 on: December 04, 2011, 05:09:25 am »
Quote from: SunflowerP;32946
Oh good -  you'd said it was one of your favorite stories, so I was a bit worried that some of this might harsh your squee.  But I can see my worries were completely misplaced; it sounds like this is exactly the sort of convo you were hoping for, as what you say later indicates:

Not so random; it ties right in with the "Victorian fetishization of childhood" strand.  We, as a culture, still retain a lot of Victorian POV.

Sunflower

It was definitely the kind of convo I was looking for. I love literature. I love to pick it apart and ogle at it's nuts and bolts to be exact. :) (I also write)

Now that I've been doing a bit of research, thanks to this thread, we really do still retain the Victorian POV in a lot of ways. I know that occultism in the Victorian age was quite prevalent but do you have any suggestions on historical books about the age and the occultism in particular? I'm very interested now that I realized that a lot of the books I favor are from that time period.

Also Sunflower, what you were saying about how their 'admiration' for innocence seemed to be more out of fear then anything else. Well, look at horror movies about every other one involves a child of some sort. A child with extraordinary abilities or one that gets taken over. A child's laugh can be creepy or adorable. They walk around with no filters on their brain or mouth, so they say what they think, feel and see. Which, sometimes, is a bit scary.

A close friend of mine went through a very brutal childhood. She told me that it got 20 times worse when her mother read her dream journal. My friend has always had terrible terrible nightmares and she still gets night terrors to this day. She has felt like she was being held down on many occasions. These are her experiences and I'm not one to say they're not real because she wouldn't make that up. But after her mother read her dream journal, she wouldn't let her do anything. Her mother wouldn't be in a room alone with her. She locked her in her room sometimes. She thinks it was out of pure fear. Her mother never acted the same way towards her again. I think my friend was 10 or so when this happened. And I'm really talking about a friend. Lol. But I thought that was relevant since you brought up the fear aspect and this seems to be a real case. Sorry if that's too much personal info. She completely trusts me with it and knows that I wouldn't just spout off her name and such.
« Last Edit: December 04, 2011, 05:18:38 am by Jujulinda »

Tana

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Re: Peter Pan
« Reply #25 on: December 04, 2011, 05:41:57 am »
Quote from: Jujulinda;32923
I gave my old, illustrated copy of Grimm's Fairytales to my cousin when he was growing  up. He absolutely loved it but my aunt flipped out about how violent and 'perverse' they were.

People's wrong idea about fairy tales being children's stories full of whimsy, cute little things and bunnies and little bambies....
The fairy tales the Grimms wrote down have their origin in much older tales.

Also, Disney's fault for castrating the original tales and sugarcoating them as much as possible.

Quote from: Jujulinda;32923
I got yelled at once for telling someone what really happens in Cinderella.

Again, Disney's fault.
Cinderella has to end with to with the bad stepmother dancing herself to death in the red hot iron shoes - where would the justice be elsewise?

In "Hogfather" (just recently re-watched it and now re-reading it) some good things about tales and why stories need to be the way they are, are said. It says there for example that it's only adults who mind the bloodshedding in story, kids don't mind it, als long as it is done by the ones who deserve to shed the blood.
« Last Edit: December 04, 2011, 05:42:32 am by Tana »
\'You had to repay, good or bad. There was more than one type of obligation.
That’s what people never really understood.….Things had to balance.
You couldn’t set out to be a good witch or a bad witch. It never worked out for long.
All you could try to be was a witch, as hard as you could.\'
Terry Pratchett \'Lords and Ladies\'

Confuzzled and proud. :p

Jujulinda

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Re: Peter Pan
« Reply #26 on: December 04, 2011, 06:06:42 am »
Quote from: Tana;32953
People's wrong idea about fairy tales being children's stories full of whimsy, cute little things and bunnies and little bambies....
The fairy tales the Grimms wrote down have their origin in much older tales.

Also, Disney's fault for castrating the original tales and sugarcoating them as much as possible.

Again, Disney's fault.
Cinderella has to end with to with the bad stepmother dancing herself to death in the red hot iron shoes - where would the justice be elsewise?

In "Hogfather" (just recently re-watched it and now re-reading it) some good things about tales and why stories need to be the way they are, are said. It says there for example that it's only adults who mind the bloodshedding in story, kids don't mind it, als long as it is done by the ones who deserve to shed the blood.

 
I may be mistaken in this but aren't a lot of old fairytales just myths and teachings of old 'hidden' in plain sight? And yes, Disney really screwed it all up. I think up until Disney intervened, children's stories weren't really bright and happy like that? It seems that way when you think about it. I did like the Cinderella movie as a kid but then I read the story and was like uh?? But I think it was mainly the mice. :)


My little cousin used to whoop and yell when the bad guys were killed in LOTR. I thought it was hilarious...his mother lectured him and how it wasn't good that they were killed etc...Yeah, no death isn't nice but it's infantile wish fulfillment is what it is in reality. The bad guys get their just desserts. That's what everyone wants and as a kid you see bad and good. Someone trying to hurt others deserves the ultimate penalty. Death. Little kids constantly yell "I'm going to kill you!" when they're mad. I got in trouble at school for that actually, not realizing it was so 'bad' to say. But end rant.

I will have to read that and watch it. It appeared on Netflix as a suggested watch and then you brought it up.

Tana

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Re: Peter Pan
« Reply #27 on: December 04, 2011, 07:06:20 am »
Quote from: Jujulinda;32954
I may be mistaken in this but aren't a lot of old fairytales just myths and teachings of old 'hidden' in plain sight?


I think not so much 'hidden' as just passed on, watered down, parts and bits for which the understanding faded got changed and there you have the stories. And the Grimms already sanatized the versions they were told quite a bit. In some versions the Sleeping Beauty doesn't wake up until she gave birth. (So the prince surely not just kissed her ;)).

Quote from: Jujulinda;32954

I will have to read that and watch it. It appeared on Netflix as a suggested watch and then you brought it up.


I think you'll like it. The movie is very close to the book, so it won't matter which one you'll see/read first.
\'You had to repay, good or bad. There was more than one type of obligation.
That’s what people never really understood.….Things had to balance.
You couldn’t set out to be a good witch or a bad witch. It never worked out for long.
All you could try to be was a witch, as hard as you could.\'
Terry Pratchett \'Lords and Ladies\'

Confuzzled and proud. :p

Catherine

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Re: Peter Pan
« Reply #28 on: December 04, 2011, 09:51:43 am »
Quote from: SunflowerP;32946
Oh good -  you'd said it was one of your favorite stories, so I was a bit worried that some of this might harsh your squee.  


Hanging my general comment on this.

When I was a kid, Peter Pan was one of my favorites. I had a lot of responsibilities dropped on me at a very young age, so the idea of a place where children could do whatever they wanted and weren't at the beck and call of adults was rather appealing to me. Though, there was something about it that made me feel vaguely uncomfortable in a way I really didn't understand at the time. Looking back, I think it had something to with Hook and Wendy.

Anyway, I started reading it again last night. If this conversation is still going in a few days, I'll be back.

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Re: Peter Pan
« Reply #29 on: December 04, 2011, 10:13:21 am »
Quote from: Jujulinda;32951
Now that I've been doing a bit of research, thanks to this thread, we really do still retain the Victorian POV in a lot of ways. I know that occultism in the Victorian age was quite prevalent but do you have any suggestions on historical books about the age and the occultism in particular? I'm very interested now that I realized that a lot of the books I favor are from that time period.


If you're looking for stuff related to the things we're talking about in this thread, I think focusing particularly on occultism would narrow the scope too much.  Occultism and the fascination with pagany things weren't as closely bound together in the 19th century as they came to be in the 20th.

My "starter book" for getting interested in how 18th and 19th century views influenced paganism as we know it was Ronald Hutton's [I]The Triumph of the Moon[/I].  A while after that, I was amusing myself wandering around Wikipedia, found the "Pseudohistory" category, and in reading various articles (most of which aren't relevant to this convo, but they're an entertaining way to pass a whole lot of time) ran across the Merry England concept - that was when I fell into a really deep Wikihole, following links from there (and eventually wound up reading articles about the Open Source concept in computer programming, but that's a long story).

Much of my reading so far has been online, but I lost my bookmarks when I upgraded my 'puter a few months back, so I can't give you links.  There are lots of relevant books on my wishlist, but I haven't done much about that - most of the ones that relate to this topic were Catja's recs, though, so hopefully she'll come back to this thread and inundate you with reading suggestions.

Quote
Also Sunflower, what you were saying about how their 'admiration' for innocence seemed to be more out of fear then anything else. Well, look at horror movies about every other one involves a child of some sort. A child with extraordinary abilities or one that gets taken over. A child's laugh can be creepy or adorable. They walk around with no filters on their brain or mouth, so they say what they think, feel and see. Which, sometimes, is a bit scary.


Since I'm not much of a horror fan, I hadn't thought about that, but I think you've got something there - certainly at least some of them are modern manifestations of the Victorian-derived idealization/fear thing.

Closely bound up in the Victorian fetishization of innocence in children, are Victorian attitudes about less-technologically-advanced peoples (to the Victorian mind, children were savages, and "savages", whether Noble Savages or not, were children/childlike) and their idealization of women (see my remark in passing, above, about The Angel In The House).  So examination of the perpetuation of the Victorian ambivalence about innocence into modern horror movies/books should include those aspects as well - Poltergeist and its "built on an ancient Indian graveyard!!" maguffin comes instantly even to a not-into-horror mind like mine.

To shift back to Peter Pan and the Ursula Vernon posts a bit, one of the things I found disappointing about the comments was a number of people saying (loose collective paraphrase), "The Victorian ideal of children as sweet and innocent is totally wrong; children are actually cruel and vicious, more like in Lord of the Flies," as if those were two distinct and opposing theories about the nature of childhood.  They're not; Lord of the Flies is very much an examination of The Child As Savage (and despite its 1954 publication date, is very Victorian indeed, IMO, centring a Victorian social contruction/theory of the "nature" of the Uncivilized Other to the exclusion of observable reality).  J.M. Barrie and William Golding drank from the same Hippocrene Spring.

My own observation is that - insofar as one can generalize about "children" as if they were a monolith and/or a different species from adult humans - children can be inconsiderate indeed, because they're still learning how to interact, but a great deal of their cruelty is modelled on their experiences of adult behavior (kids don't mimic how adults treat other adults, nearly as much as they mimic how adults treat them), and/or is in compliance with adult assumptions/expectations of child behavior.  The first signs of development of empathy are observable in very young children, but often is not encouraged, or is even discouraged, by adults who think a) it must be externally imposed, explicitly taught to children, and b) it represents a breach in the purity of the innocent/savage ideal, and too much of it too soon constitutes "not letting them be children".  (It's also tied to the idea of children as "blank slates" that adults write on, or clay that adults mold, which IMO is just flat-out unmitigated wanking on the power differential.  Oh, look, more fetishization/wanking... which reminds me of Catja's and my comments in this archive thread, which are pertinent.)

Sunflower
I'm the AntiFa genderqueer commie eclectic wiccan Mod your alt-right bros warned you about.
I do so have a life; I just live part of it online!
“Selfishness is not living as one wishes to live, it is asking others to live as one wishes to live.” - Oscar Wilde
"Nobody's good at anything until they practice." - Brina (Yewberry)
My much-neglected blog "If You Ain't Makin' Waves, You Ain't Kickin' Hard Enough"

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