As most intelligent people who had access to view it, I watched “It’s The Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown!” the week of Halloween. I have seen it a million billion times, but this time it got me thinking about Lucy Van Pelt.
The overall opinion is that Lucy Van Pelt is a humongous b*tch. I can see how one would draw this conclusion about her – but only on the surface. If one examines her a little more deeply, one may find there is more to Lucy Van Pelt.
“I’m frustrated and inhibited, and no one understands me.”
~ Lucy Van Pelt
Lucy is bossy, she is a bit self-righteous, a little cynical… she is a characteristic first born, big sister in many ways. And yes, yes, yes – the football situation. Lucy’s artifice is the famous pulling away of the football right as Charlie Brown is about to kick it with all his might, and after flying in the air he lands flat on his back.
“See??! What a B*tch!“, you may be thinking. But, did you know that Lucy first occurrence of this was in the Peanuts strip that ran on November 16, 1952? Lucy lifts the ball from Charlie’s kick was because she was afraid his shoes would get too dirty, and thereby getting her new football dirty.
Besides being selfish about her personal property, there was no malice in Lucy’s act. In fact, the second attempt on the kick, Charlie Brown’s own clumsiness kept him from kicking the ball, while Lucy held it in place firmly.
Can the argument still be made that she then took advantage, and for her own entertainment continued to trick Charlie Brown regarding kicking the football? Surely. But with all the complaining and neediness Charlie Brown has, perhaps it is her only outlet for his constant whining.
In spite of her temper and bossy-britches attitude, Lucy is an intelligent girl. She would not be able to be “bossy” or “sarcastic” if she was not. She is quick witted, she is smart, she is layered, and she is philosophical.
“The planting of a tree shows faith in the future.” ~ Lucy Van Pelt
She is honest and it comes off rude – but, honest all the same. She has moments of insecurity – wanting people to compliment her and tell her she is beautiful, holding an unrequited love for Schroeder, and if ever Linus says she isn’t a good sister, she busts into tears. Also, she is terrible at baseball and daydreams out in the field rather than pay attention to the play.
Lucy intends to help. As such, she mans her Psychiatrist Booth, to which Charlie Brown is the most frequent client. Lucy thought about turning a profit by charging 5 cents per counseling session. That’s a smart kid! Still, she wants to help and feel needed. She feels she knows how to help her friends, she just doesn’t realize how blatantly and harsh she comes across. “I’m doing this for your own good,” and “This sort of thing builds character,” are two things she often tells Charlie Brown and her brother Linus.
“I can’t help thinking that this would be a better world if
everyone would listen to me.” ~ Lucy Van Pelt
So other areas of proof that Lucy Van Pelt is not the b*tch they would have you to believe:
- Who saw that Charlie Brown needed “involvement” on something because he was so depressed and made him the Director of the Christmas play? Lucy Van Pelt.
- Who demanded the children start respecting their director? Lucy Van Pelt.
- Who coached Charlie Brown, and encouraged him, through the Spelling Bee – which coincidentally he won? Lucy Van Pelt.
- Who counselled Snoopy when he was crestfallen and gave the advice, “Snoopy, You must say to yourself: I am loved, I am needed, I am important.”? Lucy Van Pelt.
- Who got extra Halloween candy while trick or treating for her brother as he sat out in the pumpkin patch making his yearly fool of himself? Lucy Van Pelt.
- Who woke up at 4am to realize Linus was not back home yet, so she went out to get him in the pumpkin patch, bring him home, put him to bed, took off his shoes, and tucked him in? ……..LUCY FREAKING VAN PELT — That’s who!
“All you really need is love, but a little chocolate now and then
doesn’t hurt.” ~ Lucy Van Pelt
Lucy is rough, and bossy, and self-righteous … but she also has many good things about her. She has some improvements to make – but what is she, like 7 years old or something?? She isn’t all bad, she isn’t all surface – she is a little girl looking for goodness.
Regardless…. I like Lucy Van Pelt.
I don’t think she is as much of an antagonist as she seems.