In examining John Green’s young adult novel, Paper Towns, and J. M. Barrie’s Peter Pan, a theme of fear towards adulthood and social obligation is explored in the characters, Margo Spiegelman and Peter Pan. This fear causes them both to run away to their own Neverland. In doing so, both characters are hindered from truly growing, as they settle into a frivolous and forgetful lifestyle. Using critics, such as Michael Egan, Sarah Gilead, and Karen Coats, I will examine Peter Pan as the immortal child, having taken on the identity of death and time, as well as Neverland as the place that kills memory. Also, using Bruno Bettelheim’s fairy tale journey, I will look at the transition into adulthood that Quintin Jacobsen and Wendy Darling endure, as they literally journey outside the window on a tempting and thrilling adventure away from the norm. When Quintin and Wendy choose to return home to take their place in society, accepting adulthood, they choose to live with purpose, opposed to Margo and Peter, who will continue to run away from fate, as the paper girl and the immortal boy.
Klauser, Teri, "Running Away to Neverland: The Fear of Adulthood in John Green’s Paper Towns and J. M. Barrie’s Peter Pan" (2014). English 502: Research Methods. Paper 6.
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