Reflections on Charlie Brown

Charlie Brown and I have shared a few things in common. We have dealt with difficult people, and have wrestled with our share of disappointments in this life. For example, Lucy is the bane of Charlie Brown’s existence- having pulled that football out too many times. The Kite-eating-tree always wins, and the only consistent experience that Charlie has had with relationships is that of longing for them from a distance. The little red-haired girl is always just beyond his reach. His best friend is a dog that thinks he is a WWI flying ace. His school chums laugh at and deride him for numberless failings- real and imagined. Why- if he is such a loser- do I find myself relating so intensely to his situations? I think that part of it is that Charlie Brown is such a comical caricature of the ‘down-and-outer’, and that I also find myself periodically reflected in the characters of Lucy, Linus, Schroeder, and even (gasp), Snoopy. Truly there is “nothing new under the sun”- and the psychological profiles of Schultz’s cartoon personalities are nothing more than a circus mirror, giving us an opportunity to smile once again at the way we weave such melodrama into our lives.

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