NATHAN RADKE claims that Charlie Brown is an existentialist
Sartre & Peanuts
Our anti-hero sits, despondent. He is alone, both physically and emotionally. He is alienated from his peers. He is fearfully awaiting a punishment for his actions. In desperation, he looks to God for comfort and hope. Instead, his angst overwhelms him, and manifests itself as physical pain. There is no comfort to be found.
Poor Charlie Brown. He waits outside of the principal’s office, waiting to hear what will become to him. He offers up a little prayer, but all he gets is a stomach ache.
When we are exposed to something every day we can eventually lose sight of its brilliance. Newspaper readers have been exposed to Charles Schulz’s comic strip ‘Peanuts’ for over half a century. Even now, a few years after Schulz died, many newspapers continue to carry reruns of his strips, and bookstores offer Peanuts collections. His characters are featured in countless advertisements, and every December networks dutifully show the Charlie Brown Christmas Special. Is there any philosophical insight that can be gleamed from such a mainstream and common source?
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