Recurrent character types in the works of James Matthew Barrie
Amundson, James David
Master of Arts
The object of this thesis is an examination of repetitive character types in the works of James Matthew Barrie. It deals only with the characters found in more than one work, who are given new names. The discussion begins with Barrie's experimental period of writing articles for newspapers and journals, and focuses on Barrie's concern for point of view as seen in his development of a characteristic narrator. This narrator originates as a device to give unity to collections of Kailyard articles, and develops into a thematic device and finally into the vehicle for Barrie's primary theme. This theme is found to be the problem of immaturity or childishness in individuals and in society as a whole. The theme of childishness is then traced in Barrie's treatment of Barrie's immature masculine and feminine characters, and finally in the small group of female supporting characters Barrie relied upon as foils for his major characters. This close range of characteristic traits shows that Barrie's primary concern was not intended to be in any way impressionistic; his concern was the expression, in his own idiom to be sure, of a narrow range of vital themes.