Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Lucy van Pelt

Lucille "Lucy" van Pelt is a fictional character in the syndicated. comic strip Peanuts, written and drawn by Charles Schulz. She is the older sister of Linus and Rerun. Lucy is a crabby and cynical eight-year old girl, and is often bossy toward the other characters in the strip, particularly to Linus and Charlie Brown.

Lucy was introduced into the strip on March 3, 1952 as a wide-eyed baby who constantly tormented her parents. Very early on, Schulz eliminated the circles around her eyes and allowed her to mature to the age of the other characters. She soon grew into her familiar persona of a bossy, crabby, selfish girl.

Lucy wears a blue-colored dress with white and black saddle shoes for most of the strip's original run. However, in later years, towards its end, she was seen more in t-shirts and pants, until her dress was phased out altogether.

Perhaps Lucy's most famous gimmick in her long existence as a character is the one in which she pulls the football away from Charlie Brown right as he is about to kick it. The first occasion on which she did this was November 16, 1952, taking over for Violet, who had previously (yet unintentionally) subjected Charlie Brown to this trick on November 14, 1951, for fear that Charlie Brown would accidentally kick her instead of the ball. Afterward, Lucy would always intentionally pull the football away from Charlie Brown to trick him. The most infamous example of this is the animated special It's Your First Kiss, Charlie Brown, where her actions cost the football team the Homecoming game, yet Charlie Brown is blamed even though he is clearly not at fault.

For all her crabbiness and bad temper, Lucy did have a romantic side: she was in love with Schroeder, but he did not return the affection. In this Lucy is seen as insecure, as she shows a need for assurance from Schroeder and Charlie Brown that she is pretty (constantly asking them of their opinion of her appearance), and is known to react harshly when she receives an unfavorable, or even hesitant, answer. Indeed, Lucy seems to be rather thin-skinned when it comes to being insulted herself; once, when Linus countered her statement that he was a terrible brother by saying that she was not such a great sister either, Lucy burst into tears. Another time, her reaction to Charlie Brown's telling her she was not perfect was to storm off angrily without even a word, leaving Charlie to comment, "I've never seen anyone so insulted!"

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