WTFAW: Peter Pan

I have a good feeling about this article

For those of you who haven’t followed my blog, the last time I discussed Peter Pan was when I wrote about the 2015 prequel Pan, and what an absolutely revolting, incompetent, unnecessary piece of trash it was, and how everyone even tangentically involved with it ought to be ashamed of themselves.

It is one of the few movies I’ve had the displeasure of watching which I can honestly say I genuinly hate. I hate it and I hate what it stands for.

So why is this article, which is almost certainly going to be about yet more stupidity related to Peter Pan, not filling me with dread?

It’s simple. There’s no way we’ll get anywhere close to being as idiotic, tonedeaf and awful as that fucking movie

So what do you have for me, Dave?

Dave: Ok, the theory is that in Peter Pan, Hook is the good guy!

Wait… Hook is the good guy? Are we talking about the same guy? Tall guy, blue eyes, black hair, hook for a hand?

Dave: Yes.

And he’s the good guy?

Dave: Exactly.

Well, I will admit, you have me intrigued. What are the arguments?

Dave: According to the book, the number of Lost Boys vary, and when they grow up, Peter, being the only immortal person in Neverland “thins them out”, since it’s “against the rules”. That may well be a euphemism for him killing them!

I see. I spot a pretty big flaw in that, but let’s keep going.

Dave: Peter himself is a far leap from the lovable, heroic character popular culture considers him. He is greedy, selfish and callous. He shows no concern or hesitation about killing people, and states that he “forgets them after [he] kills them”. He is shown to not be able to tell the difference between fantasy and reality! He also has little to no understanding of other peoples feelings or suffering or that they’re even alive at all! At the end of the book, he returns to Wendy a year after their adventure, and not only has to be reminded about who Hook was, but has completely forgotten Tinker Bell, who died in the interrim!

Ok. That’s an interesting, and perfectly valid summary of the character…

Dave: Thank you! I knew I was right!

However, it is all completely irrelevant.

Dave: What?

Absolutely nothing of what you just said has anything to do with what we were talking about.

Dave: But you just said…

I said you accurately described Peter Pan’s character. But the theory you are promoting is that Captain Hook is the good guy.

And so far, you haven’t provided a single, solitary scrap of evidence to support that. You’ve proven that Peter is an asshole. Now, what evidence do you have to support the idea that Captain James Hook is the good guy?

Dave: Well, he’s opposed to Peter! That makes him the good guy! Don’t you see? Hook is trying to STOP Peter from kidnapping and killing children, and his crew is made up of former lost boys who escaped! You can tell, since he’s only after Peter, and doesn’t go after the other children.

Aha.. Let me just ask one question.

What the actual fuck are you talking about?!

Doesn’t go after the other children? His plan when he discovers the Lost Boys hiding place is to send them a poisoned cake so they will die! He hates all of them and wishes them all dead, it’s just that he hates Peter Pan more!

But sure, Hook is such a nice guy, isn’t he? He cares so much for his crewmembers! That is why, in the 2003 movie, he kills three of them over the course of the movie.

Dave: But in the disney version…

There, he shoots a crewmember dead for playing the accordion.

Dave: uhm… well, in the book…

In the book, he disembowels a member of his crew for accidentally bumping into him and ruffling his lace collar!

What a hero!

Dave: But… he offers the lost boys to join his crew! That supports my theory that his crew is made up of former lost boys.

Well, he DOES offer them to join, that’s true. But he doesn’t offer a spot for all of them. He says that he has room for two cabinboys, and is going to have the rest walk the plank.

He has no qualms about killing them. The reason he wants Peter in particular dead isn’t because Peter is a child murderer. It’s not even because Peter cut off his hand. In fact, Hook is THANKFUL for the loss, since his hook is so much better.

He hates Peter, because he threw Hooks hand to a crocodile, which has followed him ever since, hoping to get the rest of him.

So no, Hook is absolutely not the good guy in the story.

Dave: Well, neither is Peter!

I never said he was.

Dave: But… then who’s the good guy?

Have you considered the posibility that there ISN’T one?

Dave: Wait, what?

Why must there be a good guy in the story? If anything, Wendy is the main character of the story. She’s the oldest of the Darlings, and she’s the one who develops in the story.

In fact, let me propose a different theory, seeing as yours is demonstrably bullshit.

My counter theory is that Hook and Peter Pan are inversions of one another.

Peter Pan is callous, mischievous, cocky and selfish. But it’s important to note that he isn’t cruel or sadistic. There is, bizarrely, no malice in his actions. He’s perpetually young, and while his age isn’t specified, he is described as still having all his baby teeth. That means he could be as young as seven years old, though he could be as old as 13. He is an exaggeration of children at that age, with all the selfishness, cockiness and narcissism, untempered by discipline or manners.

Hook, meanwhile, is also callous and has no problem with killing others, but he revels in the act itself. He shows no remorse killing people that annoy him, and unlike Peter, he is completely aware that what he does is wrong.

They’re both leaders of a group, but both are also isolated from them, because they are different. Peter is immortal and will outlive every fairy and child that comes to Neverland. Hook is fundamentally a gentleman, having a boarding school education, which means he is intellectually and culturally cut off from his crew, which is a mismatched gang of cutthroats and thugs.

Dave: But In the book, J.M Barrie at one point refers to Hook as “not wholly unheroic”.

True, but keep in mind, “not wholly” is essentially just a kinder way of saying “mostly”.

Where Peter is almost defined by living by no rules except, perhaps, whatever rules strikes him as intruiging or amusing at the time, Hook in the book is obsessed with the idea of “Good Form”, i.e social ettiqette, politeness and honesty. Hook doesn’t lie, doesn’t gloat and even when he kills people, he does it with elegance. But he’ll still gladly and wantonly murder people without remorse, so long as it’s “good form”.

And where Peter cannot remember anything for long, Hook is incapable of forgetting his hatred of Peter or the fact that he is alone and unloved by everyone. Both are tragic characters in their own way, and neither truly qualify as heroes.

So it seems I was right to feel good about this article! You gave it your best shot, but as stupid as it was, you still couldn’t match the awfulness of Pan.

Dave: Well, there’s always shipping confessions on Tumblr.

tumblr

I hate you so fucking much, Dave…

 

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