Linus and the Great Pumpkin

Gary Lenaire

I have been told by many people that Charles Schulz, creator of the cartoon series Peanuts, was a believer in God. His cartoon character, Linus, believed in a strange hybrid of a jack-o-lantern, scarecrow, and Santa Claus character named The Great Pumpkin. Linus thought that the Great Pumpkin would arise out of the pumpkin patch on Halloween night and deliver toys to all the believing children. Linus became obsessed with his self-appointed mission to receive toys from The Great Pumpkin for his undying belief. He also wanted to be in the garden when the giver of Halloween toys arose from among the pumpkins.


Linus’ god was indeed exciting and valiant. That pumpkin was a bringer of goodness and fun! Linus’ faith gave him hope and also gave him something to do. He had a purpose; he bore a sign on his life. He would tell his friends that he wasn’t giving up trick-or-treat candy for nothing. No, his sacrificial faith would bring him rewards of toys. More importantly, it would prove to the world that he was truly enlightened (or saved, if you will). 


Most of us know how the story ends. Linus was disappointed to find his faith in a miraculous myth yielded only heartache. Some would say that the moral of this story was that Linus fell into a carnal trap of expecting rewards in this life; that he should never have expected his god to reward his faith in this world, but in the world to come. Others would say that Linus should never have wasted time and sacrificed his current life over a silly human myth.