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Wendy Darling

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Rachel Hurd-Wood as Wendy in the 2003 live action movie
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Wendy Moira Angela Darling is the beautiful female protagonist of Peter and Wendy by J. M. Barrie, and in most adaptations in other media.

BackgroundEdit

Wendy attends a "kindergarten school" with her younger brothers, meaning a school for pre-adolescent children. Like Peter, in many adaptations of the story she is shown to be on the brink of adolescence. She belongs to a middle class London household of that era, and is the daughter of George Darling, a short-tempered and pompous bank/office worker, and his lovely wife, Mary. Wendy shares a nursery room with her two brothers, Michael and John.

In the Disney version, and the live action 2003 version, her father declares it's time for Wendy to leave the nursery because she is growing up. In the latter, he declares that he wants to become "a man that children fear and adults respect", strongly implying that the children of London are afraid of men like Mr. Darling. Apparently, this fear extends to his own children, especially Wendy.

Personality and traitsEdit

Wendy is the most developed character and is considered by many as the main character. She loves to tell stories and make believe. She has a distaste for adulthood, acquired partly by the example of it set by her father, whom she loves but fears due to his somewhat violent fits of anger. She wants nothing more than to avoid growing up, which is why she takes the chance when it's offered to her by Peter Pan. Wendy finds that this experience brings out her more adult side. Peter and the tribe of Lost Boys who dwell in Neverland want her to be their "mother" (a role they remember only vaguely), a request she tentatively accedes to, performing various domestic tasks for them. There is also a degree of innocent or implied flirtation with Peter, which cause his fairy Tinker Bell to be jealous. In the original script of Barrie's book, Peter and Wendy, Wendy asks Peter, towards the end of the book, if he would like to speak to her parents about 'a very sweet subject', implying that she would like him to speak to her parents about someday marrying her. Generally Wendy a sweet, young, brave and beautiful girl with a classic beauty. Wendy eventually learns to accept the virtues of adulthood, and returns to London, having decided not to postpone maturity any longer.

In a later added ending, Wendy has grown up and married, and has a daughter, Jane. When Peter returns looking for Wendy (not understanding that she would no longer be a young girl, as time escapes him while he is in the Neverland), he meets Jane; Wendy lets her daughter go off with him, apparently trusting her to make the same choices. The same scenario later plays out between Jane's daughter, Wendy's granddaughter, Margaret. (We don't actually see this happen. Barrie states [at the very end of the book] that Jane has a daughter, Margaret, who will one day go to the Neverland with Peter Pan, and that the same thing will happen with Margaret's future daughter and future granddaughter, and on and on, for as long as children believe in fairies.) In the book, and in Hook, its said that her little crush on Peter Pan never really goes away. That's the thing about all girls and Peter Pan and what makes him so tragic. Every girl he knows pretty much wants him romantically, that's the whole thing about the hidden kiss in the novel and 03 movie they are always meant for Peter Pan.

In the Disney version, Wendy is a talkative, kind and very beautiful 12-13 year old girl, who has feelings for Peter.
DisneyWendy
Head-to-toe illustration of Wendy Darling from Disney's Peter Pan.
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In the 2003 live action version, where she is played by Rachel Hurd-Wood, Wendy realizes that Peter's refusal to grow up is not healthy and he's far from what she thought he would be like and by the end, she wants to grow up. She's aware of her feelings for Peter (more so than any other portrayal of Wendy) and is aware that he loves her too on some level. This film had the theme of Wendy's increasing maturity - a theme brought up by her aunt in a very early scene and confirmed by her father in a seething tone a while later; and since Hook is taken as an adult variation of Peter, then her brief attachment to him could be seen as signifying the way in which she's beginning to cross over into the world of the adult, leaving childish relationships and notions behind. The film asserts that Wendy is already too grown up for Peter, as there a moment where she anticipates her first kiss, and Peter is clearly not on the same wavelength; but it shows she is still a child because she turns her head for her cheek to be kissed. She and Peter will always have a more than friends relationship.

See alsoEdit

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