"To Live Would Be an Awfully Big Adventure": Masculinity in J.M. Barrie's Peter Pan and Its Cinematic Adaptations

Open Access
Gencarelli, Alicia Marie
Area of Honors:
Bachelor of Arts
Document Type:
Thesis Supervisors:
  • Garrett Sullivan Jr., Thesis Supervisor
  • Dr. Marcy Lynne North, Honors Advisor
  • peter pan
  • masculinity
  • domesticity
  • gender
  • adaptation
  • disney
  • pj hogan
This thesis discusses the representation of masculinity in J.M. Barrie’s novel, Peter Pan, as well as in two of its cinematic adaptations: Disney’s Peter Pan and P.J. Hogan’s Peter Pan. In particular, I consider the question: What exactly keeps Peter from growing up and becoming a man? Furthermore, I examine the cultural ideals of masculinity contemporary to each work, and consider how they affected the work’s illustration of masculinity. Then, drawing upon adaptation theory, I argue that with each adaptation comes a slightly variant image of masculinity, producing new meanings within the overall narrative of Peter Pan. This discovery provides insight into the continued relevance of Peter Pan in Western society, and subsequently, how a Victorian children’s adventure fiction is adapted to reflect contemporary ideologies and values.