Schulz and Peanuts Remembered
Little boys, in a
male dominated culture, are supposed to become men by first "besting"
their sisters, then their mother, and then joining the male club which
represent presidents, priests and CEOs around the globe. Once in the inner
sanctum, each male may choose a female partner whom they consider worthy
In the world of cartoonland dominated by males, Charles Schulz made his
mark. He appealed to all men who never quite enter into the inner circle
of traditional males and therefore do not have the power to make an approach
to the female of choice.
Schulz spent his life involved in giving Charlie Brown his voice. He chose
the title PEANUTS for his famous comic strip, subtly masking the term,
which sounds faintly reminiscent of the name of the male appendage that
has for centuries been synonymous with male power. Even Freud cleverly
used that anatomical term, which could only be applied to a male, to discourage
any woman from attaining full status in the world since she could never
claim that she had such an appendage and so was deemed an incomplete person.
Charlie Brown, in his frustrating football sequences, spent his cartoon
lifetime being conned by the dominant black-haired Lucy. Schulz would
not give in to his readership who were hoping for one last and successful
turn at kicking the football.
And so like Schulz's wife, who accepted her husband's all encompassing
involvement with PEANUTS, the world also accepted the power of a male,
lingering in the place where little boys stay until they become men. In
this place, Schulz seduced a readership of voyeurs into staying forever
in that place of limbo without hope of finally kicking the football of
life into a fulfilling future.
Georgie Bright Kunkel