Does J.M. Barrie have an overt and/or a hidden agenda he is trying to express in Peter Pan?

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may-stone eNotes educator| Certified Educator

One of the most notable elements that seems to function in the background of the novel's plot is the play of gender roles, particularly in reference to their bearing on responsibility.  After all, Never Never Land is the land of the lost boys, and Peter is looking to take Wendy away there so that she can, at a ridiculously early age, become a mother to them all, although she admits, ‘‘I am only a little girl; I have no real experience."  But what the really want is for her to perform the actions and symbols they associate with motherhood, and as such, this theme of Peter Pan has become a favorite for gender scholars and psychoanalytic theorists.