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Tinker Bell

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Tinker Bell
TinkerBell-1924

Real Name

Tinker Bell

First Appearance

Peter Pan, the Boy Who Wouldn't Grow Up (1904)

Created by

J.M. Barrie

Origin

Though sometimes ill-tempered, spoiled, and very jealous and vindictive (getting the Lost Boys to shoot arrows at Wendy), at other times she is helpful and kind to Peter. The extremes in her personality are explained in-story by the fact that a fairy's size prevents her from holding more than one feeling at a time, so when she is angry she has no counterbalancing compassion. Fairies cannot fly in the rain but can enable others to fly by sprinkling them with fairy dust. At the end of the novel, the suggestion is that Tinker Bell has died the year after Wendy and her brothers left Neverland, and Peter has no memory of her at all.

Appearance and Demeanor

Tinker Bell was described by Barrie as a fairy who mended pots and kettles, like an actual tinker. Her speech consists of the sounds of a tinkling bell, which is understandable only to those familiar with the language of the fairies. In the original stage productions, she was represented on stage by a darting light "created by a small mirror held in the hand off-stage and reflecting a little circle of light from a powerful lamp" and her voice was a "a collar of bells and two special ones that Barrie brought from Switzerland."

Notes

  • In an early draft of the play, her name was Tippytoe (or Tippy for short).
  • A Miss 'Jane Wren' was listed among the cast on the programmes as playing Tinker Bell: this was a joke which also helped with the mystique of the fairy character, and fooled HM Inspector of Taxes who sent Jane Wren a tax demand.
  • The Peter Pan play is not public domain in England or the United States. Special legislation was passed that gave the play a perpetual copyright. The characters, however, are public domain (as are the novels).

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