1966: Like Everybody Else


Bill Melendez, director: It’s the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown (1966)

Charlie Brown, undaunted, seeks tenderness and fulfillment on every side: in baseball, in building kites, in his relationship with his dog, Snoopy, in playing with the girls. He always fails. His solitude becomes an abyss, his inferiority complex is pervasive—tinged by the constant suspicion (which the reader also comes to share) that Charlie Brown is not inferior. Worse: he is absolutely normal. He is like everybody else. This is why he is always on the brink of suicide or at least of nervous breakdown: because he seeks salvation through the routine formulas suggested to him by the society in which he lives….But since he acts in all purity, without any guile, society is prompt to reject him through its representative, Lucy, treacherous, self-confident, an entrepreneur with assured profits, ready to peddle a security that is completely bogus but of unquestioned effect.

Umberto Eco, “On ‘Krazy Kat’ and ‘Peanuts'” (1985) (source)

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