Chapters 4–6 Summary

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Last Reviewed on March 16, 2020, by eNotes Editorial. Word Count: 1227

Chapter 4: The Flight

The three children are now flying in the sky with Peter to Neverland. They begin to get tired and hungry as the journey progresses, with Peter searching for food by dueling the birds. Peter’s clever yet reckless “pranks” began to frighten Wendy; his constant need to show off is becoming exhausting for John and Michael as well. But Wendy insists that they need to be nice to him if they ever want to return home, because he is the only one who can help them.

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Eventually, Peter tells the Darling children they’ve arrived in Neverland, pointing out golden arrows that lead to the island. Described as “a familiar friend to whom they were returning home for the holidays,” the island has features the children recognize, such as Michael’s cave, John’s flamingo, and Wendy’s boat. As night arrives, however, the island becomes more sinister. Sensing an ominous evil, Peter implores the Darlings to go on an adventure to kill a pirate.

After choosing to have tea first, Peter tells them about the pirates on the island and their captain, James Hook. Recognizing Hook’s name, Michael and John grow fearful. Peter reveals to them that he cut off Hook’s right hand, so the pirate captain now has an iron hook for a right hand. Peter makes John promise him that if they do end up confronting Hook, John “must leave him to” Peter. Observing Tinker Bell’s light, Peter warns that sometimes the pirates can chase him down if they see fairy lights; alarmed, Wendy asks Peter to make her fly away, but he refuses to. They all then agree to carry Tinker Bell in John’s hat.

Soon after, the pirates fire Long Tom at them; in hearing Hook’s voice, the three Darlings “learn the difference between an island of make believe and the same island come true.” When “the heavens become steady again,” the children are separated, with John and Michael on land and alone in the dark and Wendy flying with Tinker Bell. Peter has been blown off into the distant sky. In a deceivingly friendly manner, Tinker Bell leads Wendy, who is unaware of the fairy’s hatred for her, “to her doom.” 

Chapter 5: The Island Come True

During Peter’s absence, the narrator introduces the various groups on the island—the lost boys, redskins, and beasts—who are going around in circles hunting each other. Peter is the leader of the lost boys, a group of motherless children who, like him, refuse to grow up.

As the lost boys hear the pirates’ song in the distance, the pirates—which include Italian Cecco, Bill Jukes, Gentleman Starkey, Cookson, Skylights, Noodler, Robt, Alf Mason, Mullins, and Smee—are introduced. The pirates have all committed various crimes, and their leader is Captain James “Jas” Hook. Hook is described as “cadaverous” and “blackivized,” dressed elegantly, and with a haughty demeanor. The other pirates, who believe his iron hook to be his only flaw, see him as “a man of indomitable courage.”

On the other hand, the redskins, whose "naked bodies gleam with paint and oil,” carry the scalps of both lost boys and pirates. Tiger Lily, “a princess in her own right,” stands out from the group for her beauty and confidence.

The beasts—“lions, tigers, bears, and the innumerable smaller savage things that flee from them”—then arrive, followed by a giant crocodile. Hearing the pirates arriving, the boys hide by retreating to their cave through the holes of hollow trees. Starkey spots Nibs, but Hook stops him from shooting the boy, apprehensive that the noise will draw the redskins their way. As Hook and Smee speak privately, Hook expresses his overwhelming desire to catch Peter Pan. After recalling that Peter cut off his hand, Hook claims to prefer having an iron hook but adamantly exclaims his desire for revenge.

As the pirates try to pull a mushroom out of the ground, they realize it is the chimney of the lost boys’ underground home. Knowing Peter is not with them, they hatch a plan to leave a poisoned cake by the mermaids’ lagoon to lure the boys in. Earlier, Hook explains that the crocodile that ate his hand later swallowed a clock. The pirates then hear a ticking noise, and it turns out to be the crocodile.

As the boys emerge from their home, Nibs comes running toward them, followed by a pack of wolves. Faced with danger, they ask each other what Peter would do and decide to charge the wolves, and the wolves scamper off. Nibs then tells them that he saw a beautiful, large, white bird in the sky, which turns out to be Wendy. She and Tinker Bell land, and the boys greet the fiary, who “had now cast off all disguise of friendship.” Tinker Bell tells them that Peter ordered them to kill “The Wendy,” and because they are so accustomed to not questioning Peter’s orders, they get out their bows and arrows. Then, from a tree, Tootles shoots Wendy in the chest.

Chapter 6: The Little House

In approaching Wendy’s body, the boys are terrified to realize she is “a lady” and not a bird, and they accuse Tootles of killing the mother figure sent to them by Peter. While ashamed, Tootles stubbornly claims that he sometimes shoots his mother in his dreams. As he starts to leave, the other boys tell him not to, and at that moment, they hear Peter’s crowing sound.

Peter is surprised that the lost boys don’t seem more excited to see him. Tootles thus reveals Wendy’s body, and Peter says, “Perhaps she is frightened at being dead.” Peter pulls the arrow out of Wendy’s chest, demanding to know who killed her. Tootles admits to the deed, but Peter can’t bring himself to kill Tootles. However, the boys then realize that Wendy is alive; inspecting her chest, Peter notes that the “the kiss” he gave her stopped the arrow from piercing her heart. When Tinker Bell cries because Wendy survived, the other boys tell Peter what Tink told them, and Peter is furious with her.

Wondering what they can do to keep Wendy alive, Peter suggests they build a small house around her, and the boys begin work on it. John and Michael then stumble upon the lost boys and greet Peter, who is busy tending to Wendy’s home. Peter recruits them to help build the house, telling them that because she is a girl, they are her servants. He asks Wendy to sing in her sleep what kind of house she wants, which she does.

Peter meticulously sees to it that Wendy’s house has every possible feature; when he feels it is complete, he knocks on the door. She opens the door, and the boys, anxious to see a girl, enthusiastically greet her, telling her that they are her children and she is their mother. While Wendy tells them she is only a girl, she admits that she does have quite a maternal nature and agrees to try and be their mother. She invites them inside to finish telling them the story of Cinderella, which “was the first of the many joyous evenings they had with Wendy.” At nightfall, Peter falls asleep while guarding Wendy’s new home.

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Chapters 1–3 Summary

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Chapters 7–9 Summary