According to the hierarchy of needs, are the boys' basic needs being met in Peter Pan?

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litteacher8 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

The boys’ needs are not being met based on Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs because they are not safe, and don’t have the companionship of a mother.

Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs suggests that we all have basic needs that need to be met before we can be happy.  You need to meet the needs of health, safety and security first before needs of companionship become important.

The boys are not fundamentally safe in Neverland.  They fact threats from pirates and crocodiles.

All are keeping a sharp look-out in front, but none suspects that the danger may be creeping up from behind.  This shows how real the island was. (ch 5, p. 31)

The boys can never be happy until they are physically safe, and don’t need to worry about these serious “real” dangers.

Another important need moving up the hierarchy is love and self-esteem.  The boys have each other, and they care about Peter, but they lack a mother figure.  The mother is very important to them.

"Don't have a mother," he said. Not only had he no mother, but he had not the slightest desire to have one. He thought them very over-rated persons. Wendy, however, felt at once that she was in the presence of a tragedy. (ch 3)

It is only because Peter does not have a mother that he says he does not need one.  In reality, he desperately needs one and this is why he brings Wendy to Neverland.

Neverland is sometimes described as the perfect place for childhood, because it is full of adventure and no adults.  However, adventure means a lack of safety, and no adults means a lack of love.