Class Year


Document Type

Student Research Paper

Date of Creation

Fall 2014

Department 1



Using Aristotle's definition of the "tragic hero," this work will explore J.M. Barrie's novel, Peter and Wendy, and how Peter is a tragic figure. In this paper I argue that Peter Pan is not only a tragic hero whose human frailty— in Peter’s case, his fear of growing old— causes him to make the terrible mistake of rejecting his own development of humanity and the opportunity for redemption through maternal love, but that Barrie uses Peter to emphasize that, contrary to the Romantic conception of childhood, children need the guidance of parents in order to live a fulfilling life.


This paper was written for Dr. Suzanne Flynn's course, ENG 230: Golden Age of Children's Literature, Fall 2014.