Step one on my way to writing this (well, maybe not the first step) is to re-read Peter Pan. So, I’ve been going through it, mostly so I can pick out little things to remember what I made up and what was already there (and what I took from the Disney version so I can do away with that part specifically). There have always been some really fun lines in Peter Pan, but some of them also have a darker tone that kind of surprised me a little the first time I read it.
Here are a few good ones:
In the old days at home the Neverland had always begun to look a little dark and threatening by bedtime. Then unexplored patches arose in it and spread, black shadows moved about in them, the roar of the beasts of prey was quite different now, and above all, you lost the certainty that you would win.
He came back, and there was a greedy look in his eyes now which ought to have alarmed her, but did not.
“There’s a pirate asleep in the pampas just beneath us,” Peter told him. “If you like, we’ll go down and kill him.”
“I don’t see him,” John said after a long pause.
“Suppose,” John said, a little huskily, “he were to wake up.”
Peter spoke indignantly. “You don’t think I would kill him while he was sleeping! I would wake him first, and then kill him. That’s the way I always do.”
“I say! Do you kill many?”
“What is he like? Is he big?”
“He is not so big as he was.”
“How do you mean?”
“I cut off a bit of him.”
Tink was not all bad; or, rather, she was all bad just now, but, on the other hand, sometimes she was all good. Fairies have to be one thing or the other, because being so small they unfortunately have room for one feeling only at a time. They are, however, allowed to change, only it must be a complete change.
The first to pass is Tootles, not the least brave but the most unfortunate of all that gallant band. He had been in fewer adventures than any of them, because the big things constantly happened just when he had stepped round the corner; all would be quiet, he would take the opportunity of going off to gather a few sticks for firewood, and then when he returned the others would be sweeping up the blood.
Let us now kill a pirate, to show Hook’s method. Skylights will do. As they pass, Skylights lurches clumsily against him, ruffling his lace collar; the hook shoots forth, there is a tearing sound and one screech, then the body is kicked aside, and the pirates pass on. He has not even taken the cigars from his mouth.
Such is the terrible man against whom Peter Pan is pitted. Which will win?
Bringing up the rear, the place of greatest danger, comes Tiger Lily, proudly erect, a princess in her own right. She is the most beautiful of dusky Dianas and the belle of the Piccaninnies, coquettish, cold and amorous by turns; there is not a brave who would not have the wayward thing to wife, but she staves off the altar with a hatchet.
These are a few nice ones. Of course there are plenty of funny lines too, but these were some that stood out to me and helped to imagine the darker side of the story in the first place.
(excerpts from Peter Pan by J. M. Barrie)