Why “It’s the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown” truly captures the spirit of fall and innocence

Maggie Leaf, Entertainment Writer

The classic film, “It’s the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown,” can be considered one of the most quintessential examples of the youthful, American spirit. It encapsulates what the meaning of fall and innocence is all about. In it’s entirety, there are plenty of examples of what makes this movie such an important part of pop culture. It not only promotes many favorite American Halloween traditions, such as trick-or-treating and apple bobbing, but expresses an important message of friendship and optimism. Linus’s mission to see the Great Pumpkin portrays determination, which can only be interpreted as the unique energy of a child. His confidence never waivers, representing an important factor in the depiction of the persona of children in America. Linus’s infamous line, “If you really are a fake, don’t tell me. I don’t want to know,” is the definition of innocence because is there ever a consequence for the unknown?

In, quite possibly, the most significant part of the movie, there’s the classic scene in which Lucy places the football for Charlie Brown to kick, promising not to move it at the last second (which she clearly had done plenty of times before), but then does so anyway causing him to look like a fool. This scene, regardless of the amount of times we’ve seen it, always prompts the question, why does he fall for it every time? No matter how many times Lucy swipes it or Charlie Brown wipes out, he’s still left with the hope that things will be better the next time around. In a sense, isn’t that the message we are trying to convey to the youth of today? To always have faith and perseverance in what is to come? While some may see him as foolish, the only message that should be derived from this cartoon is one of optimism.

It’s the little things in this movie that prove to have the biggest impact. As society is recurrently plagued with negativity and bitterness, the meaning of “It’s the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown” reminds us to look at the world as if we’d never seen suffering or experienced pain, and to find the good in what is all too often perceived as bad.