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Chris Caldwell, “Against Snoopy”:

Charlie Brown is optimistic enough to think he can earn a sense of self-worth, and his willingness to do so by exposing himself to fresh humiliations is the dramatic engine that drives the strip. The greatest of Charlie Brown’s virtues is his resilience, which is to say his courage. Charlie Brown is ambitious. He manages the baseball team. He’s the pitcher, not a scrub. He may be a loser, but he’s, strangely, a leader at the same time. This makes his mood swings truly bipolar in their magnificence: he vacillates not between being kinda happy and kinda unhappy, but between being a “hero” and being a “goat.”

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    The hero and the goat have and always will be one and the same.
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