Good Days and Bad Days: Juxtapositions in Peanuts
December 10, 2014 through April 13, 2015
Strip Rotation Gallery
Charles Schulz created strong character comparisons in Peanuts. Lucy’s self-assuredness contrasted with Charlie Brown’s anxieties. Marcie excels in school while Peppermint Patty struggles to stay awake in class. Snoopy’s joyfulness countered the complex emotions of the children in their everyday contemplation of the world around them.
Juxtapositions in Peanuts features over 70 original comic strips highlighted by contrasting episodes and emotions in Peanuts, illustrating Schulz’s distinct cartoonist approach to the human condition.
Schulz’s characters expressed feelings atypical of mid-twentieth century comic strips, including insecurity, depression, and longing for solitude, which are tempered by his genius for adding humor.
The characters often adopted particular attitudes that became hallmarks of their personalities. Linus values education while Sally could not care less about what happened in 1716. Charlie Brown wants to be a baseball hero, but laments, “I haven’t got the nerve!” Schulz skillfully used these juxtapositions to engage the reader through humor and empathy.