Recently I watched the classic Peanuts Halloween special as part of my yearly tradition. For some reason a few new thoughts crept into my mind this year. Apologies if other people were well aware of this, or if another site has noticed these things. I purposely didn’t search these out because I wanted my own thoughts to be unsullied.
One, in the scene where Linus writes to the Great Pumpkin, where is he?
Throughout this scene other members of the Peanuts gang question and mock Linus for writing this letter to the possibly fictional representation of the spirit of Halloween. Linus is sitting at a table writing and has interactions with: Charlie Brown, Sally Brown, and Snoopy. Linus’s own sister Lucy is watching TV and alerted to her brother’s doings by Snoopy’s laughter. Even (not Peppermint) Patty shows up to deride Linus.
Where does this scene take place? It can’t be school for two reasons. One, Snoopy most likely would not be allowed inside of school. Two, Lucy would not be able to sit in front of the floor console TV set at her leisure during the school day. So it must be at someone’s house. The best contenders are the Brown house or the Van Pelt home. Based on Snoopy easily coming and going, I’m left to assume this is the Brown residence. Further, the Halloween party later on is at the Van Pelt estate, which is why Snoopy sneaks in through the window. He is not usually allowed there.
All of the children wandering in and out of the scene leads me to believe that one or both of Charlie Brown’s parents is the neighborhood babysitter. Linus and Lucy live on the same block, if not next door. In fact, this might explain why the gang constantly mock Charlie Brown, yet also always spend time with him. The round head boy is part of going to Babysitter Brown’s house. The children are probably instructed to play with the babysitter’s weird kid because any other sitter is not on the block and would also cost a lot more.
Second and last, the impact of this cartoon has been subconsciously expressed nearly all my reading life. While he doesn’t have a cartoon to call his own the influence of these characters was across the comic strip page for years. Fashion icon Linus was given homage by another child. One who also has crazy hair. One who also has a hyperactive imagination. One who cradles an inanimate object for friendship and security. Linus, meet Calvin.