Charlie Brown, We Know the characters.
We love them! But do we fully understand what Schulz is saying in this satire comic, depicting the differences that are evolving between men and women ???? While this may have been Schultz’ primary expressed idea, there is also a secondary aspect to his story. And that is of a group young immature friends just growing up and enjoying themselves. Also included in this mix of friendship is Snoopy who often shows much more humanness and knowledge of the world than they do.
In 1950 Schultz realised Charlie Brown comic in ‘Lil Folks’ comic strip. Little did Schulz know that he had unleased the “Kraken” of an iconic character that would prevail for generations to come……?
Charlie Brown ……..
Though some may think the character and idea of Charlie Brown is only for children …..
They are wrong as the comic interplays on satire and irony that adults mostly understand.
With the arrival soon after of the main characters of Charlie Brown and Snoopy, Linus, Peppermint Patty, Sally, Lucy, Schroder and Marcie in the late 50’s
He showed these characters also becoming Icons as well.
With the interesting story line that prevails between the female and male characters, the readers soon come to realise this cartoon is not only a simple Sunday cartoon but a much bigger and much more important story. A story that shows the changes of human society of during the 50s and 60’s and the changing of the traditional of roles of men and women.
This is indicated strongly with the different types of female characters consisting of Lucy, Peppermint Patty, Sally and Marcie
We see an attitude of changes within the female’ psyches….
Sally is very young and very sweet, the epitome of the role model of the girls in the songs that were written about young love in the 50’s and before. With her genuine heart and uttering sweetness of “My Sweet Baboo” to Linus (who is, let’s say, otherwise occupied or doesn’t want to know.) Even so, Sally’s character isn’t always the main attraction for Charlie Brown which is shown by his preoccupation with……
Lucy Van Pelt.
Lucy is portrayed as a hugely dynamic dominating personality. Even though her size is tiny she makes up for it in her tenacious and over bearing attitude in her relationships with the other characters, particularly Linus, her brother. The relationship between Lucy and Linus is a twist on the relationships which shows the change taking place from early 1950’s women and men to late 1960’s women and men. As the story continues and the characters of Lucy and Linus shown as a domineering woman and Linus shown as a submissive almost’ half man’ when he is around Lucy. Though as Schulz describes…. Lucy’s weakness is …..
Schroeder is a piano playing character and takes a quiet back seat role. He is there to show that Lucy actually has a more old-fashioned feminine side where she has a penchant for someone role. But even then she tries to grease up to Schroeder and show a more feminine side as she leans on the piano and wishes for Schroeder to notice her upsets Lucy. But he does not and her forceful attitude shows through again. Though Schroeder does seem to take a back seat. His character is still very much alive and not affected by Lucy’s behaviour. He plays for himself and Linus and Charlie Brown. My personal theory is Schroder is put there not only to show off Lucy in a more feminine way but also to have a character that very much is untouched by Lucy, unlike the other characters. Though as a Piano Player , He does not play well without Lucy being near and also is one occasion is so annoyed by Lucy that he tries to attack her with the piano ….So is he really untouched by Lucy’s affections ???
Is a strong Character and is usually seen as quite a masculine character as she prefers to wear Jandals and shorts to dresses and other clothes. Her character shows a slightly androgynous female as she has a great affection maybe even love for “Chuck’’. Charlie Brown but isn’t able to show it easily and is often saying the wrong thing to “Chuck’’. Though for all of her difficulties Peppermint Patty is a strong likable character and is able to go around like one of the boys, apart from the times when “Marcie”, her best friend treats her like a boy calling her “Sir “constantly. Though even with this dilemma it doesn’t get in her way. Marcie also has great affection for “Chuck “and doesn’t have a hard time showing it ……
Is cute, intelligent and astute, unlike Sally and looks in on the world around her, and is quick to make observations about relationship I.e. between Peppermint Patty and Charlie Brown. She is a character who knows very well what is going on and although some would say she is ‘geeky, her attitude is perhaps even more feminine then Sally’s
Although even if she does sometimes seem to act as Peppermint Patty’s Conscience ……
Where does this leave the main protagonist, of the name “ Charlie Brown”, with his love for Snoopy and for his best friends even if he doesn’t fully see or understand what Marcie and Peppermint Patty are trying to tell him ……
Does this leave Charlie Brown as a wet blanket or somewhat” wishy washy “as Peppermint Patty would say????
No, it leaves Charlie Brown as a little unobservant but a likeable traditionalist that isn’t quite ready for the changes that are beginning to happen in the late 50s and early 60’s between the relationships of Men and Women.
Which some observers might say would have totally confused their grandfather’s generation from the thirties.