|The Lost Boys|
The Lost Boys meeting Wendy.
Peter Pan, the Boy Who Wouldn't Grow Up (1904)
J.M. Barrie & Ela Q. May
The Lost Boys are Peter Pan's companions in Neverland, and he is their leader. As pre-teen boys lacking any adult supervision, they are often ill-behaved, and enjoy the freedom their wild lifestyle offers, but they usually have a hidden (or not-so-hidden) desire for a "mother" (even when they don't know exactly what those are). They were introduced in J. M. Barrie's play Peter Pan, The Boy Who Wouldn't Grow Up, developed further in the novel Peter and Wendy, and appear in most adaptations and extensions to the story. The Lost Boys – as well as Peter – were inspired by the Llewelyn Davies boys, whom Barrie befriended in 1897.
In the novel, Barrie explains that the Lost Boys are boys who fell out of their prams while their nannies were looking the other way, in places such as Kensington Gardens. After going unclaimed for seven days, they are whisked off to Neverland, where they live with Peter Pan. There are no "Lost Girls", because (as Peter explains) girls are too clever to be lost in this manner. Although it's popularly thought that they remain boys forever (and Barrie states that time operates differently in Neverland), Barrie comments about them routinely getting killed, or they "seem to be growing up" and Peter "thins them out" when they do that (After all, if they never grew up, and new boys continued to be lost by their nannies, Neverland would eventually become overwhelmed with them).
The six Lost Boys in Barrie's story are:
- Tootles - He is described as the most humble of the lost boys because of his terrible luck with adventures: as soon as Tootles goes away to complete a chore or somesuch, bloody battles and thrilling adventures take place. Because of this, he has become accepting of his lot in life, and is much sweeter for it. He is the one who shoots Wendy Darling with a bow and arrow after Tinker Bell tells them Wendy is a bird, and convinces them that killing her would bring great favor with Peter, and when the mistake is discovered he invites Peter to kill him. However, since Wendy survives, Tootles is spared. Though he is titled clumsy and silly, Tootles is the first to defend Wendy when she wants to return to London. When Peter takes possession of The Jolly Roger, Tootles takes Smee's place as boatswain. At the end of the novel, he returns to London with Wendy and the other Lost Boys and eventually grows up to become a judge.
- Nibs - He is described as "gay", joyful and debonair, possibly the bravest Lost Boy. He is chased by wolves in chapter five, and tattles on Slightly in chapter ten. He says the only thing he remembers about his mother is that she always wanted a cheque-book; he says he would love to give her one. He grows up to work in an office.
- Curly - He is the most troublesome Lost Boy, described by Barrie as "a pickle" (a person who gets into pickles) and gets into trouble so much that he habitually takes the blame even when he didn't do it. He is in charge of building the little house in chapter six. Curly grows up to work in an office.
- Slightly - the most conceited, because he believes he remembers his life before being lost.
- First Twin and Second Twin - Two of the Lost Boys are Twins, commonly known as First Twin and Second Twin. They know little about themselves; they aren't allowed to, because Peter Pan doesn't know what Twins are, and no Lost Boy is allowed to know anything that Peter doesn't. They stay close together "in an apologetic sort of way."
- The Peter Pan play is not in the public domain in England or the United States. Special legislation was passed that gave the play a perpetual copyright. The characters, however, are in the public domain (as are the novels).