Peter Pan Questions and Answers
by J. M. Barrie

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Why is Peter Pan upset to see Tiger Lily held captive by the pirates?

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As Peter Pan and Wendy approach the pirate dinghy, they can see three people aboard: Smee, Starkey, and Tiger Lily, whom the pirates have taken captive. A horrible fate lies in store for the young native princess. Her hands and ankles have been tied up, and she's to be left on a rock to die.

For someone of Tiger Lily's tribe, this is the worst way to go, as tribal tradition teaches that there's no path to the Happy Hunting Ground—the tribe's equivalent of heaven—through water. Yet Tiger Lily's face is utterly impassive; if she's going to die, then she will do so as the daughter of a chief, with all the appropriate dignity that entails.

Watching from a distance, Wendy is very upset to see poor Tiger Lily tied up. Wendy starts to cry, as this is the first tragedy she's ever seen. As for Peter, he's seen many tragedies in his time but has forgotten them all. That explains why he's not as upset over Tiger Lily's plight as Wendy.

Nonetheless, he's hardly thrilled about it. What really angers him about Tiger Lily's plight is its basic unfairness; Tiger Lily is outnumbered two-to-one. And so, at that moment, Peter resolves to spring into action and save Tiger Lily from the pirates' evil clutches.

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