Peter Pan

Peter Pan Metaphors and Similes

Thimble (Metaphor)

This metaphor is the result of a misunderstanding. Peter does not know what a kiss is, and thinks that it is a physical object, so when Wendy offers to give him a kiss, he holds out his hand as if waiting for her to give him something. She gives him a thimble, calling it a kiss, and an actual kiss gets referred to as a thimble.

"Be our mother" (Metaphor)

When Wendy arrives in Never Land, the Lost Boys ask her to be their mother, and she becomes a metaphorical stand-in for mothers in general. She is not the literal mother to the Lost Boys, but she assumes the role, and their calling her their mother makes it so.

“ vain a tabernacle is man...” (Metaphor)

Barrie uses this metaphor to describe how the reader might expect Hook to act while walking on the deck of his ship after capturing Wendy and the Lost Boys. He writes, "With Peter surely at last removed from his path we, who know how vain a tabernacle is man, would not be surprised to find him bellied out by the winds of his success, but it is not so; he is still uneasy, looking long and meaninglessly at familiar objects, such as the ship's bell or the Long Tom, like one who may shortly be a stranger to them." This metaphor is hypothetical, a suggestion that while we might expect Hook to be self-satisfied about having kidnapped the boys and defeated Pan, turning himself into a "vain" "tabernacle," this is not the case with Hook.

"I'm youth, I'm joy, I'm a little bird that has broken out of the egg." (Metaphor)

In his fight with Hook on the deck of the Jolly Roger, Peter utters this confident cry. He proclaims that he is youth, that he is joy, and that he is a bird coming out of an egg. These metaphors make him seem all the more confident and triumphant, and are images that suggest birth and victory.

"We hope our sons will die like English gentlemen" (Simile)

On the Jolly Roger, Wendy delivers a message to the Lost Boys who are on the brink of death. The message is an imagined one from their real mothers, and it is the hope that they will die "like English gentlemen." This simile represents the fact that Wendy wants the Lost Boys to die with dignity.