Cartoons only give us a small glimpse into the lives of fictional characters. What do they do when the screen blinks black and they’re no longer at the demand of our entertainment needs? Well, they read of course! Just like us, cartoon characters have a favorite author, genre and character. Just like us, they’ll blab endlessly about their favorite read if you give them the time of day. What would a few beloved characters be reading? Here’s our take.
Ginger, Bridget Jones’s Diary
Ginger loves to write in her diary. It’s her closest confidant, where she reaches confessional clarity. It’s therefore no surprise that her reading interests align with epistolary reads. Bridget Jones’s Diary offers much in the way of relatability. Both Ginger and Bridget, despite age difference, retain a youthful naiveté. They share the desire to overcome their obstacles in the hopes of learning more about themselves and are equally contemplative and clumsy. That Helen Fielding’s book would win a prized spot on Ginger’s bookshelf is a no-brainer.
Courage the Cowardly Dog, The Lottery
Watching Courage the Cowardly Dog as a girl (90’s kids where are you?) I was always left feeling a little unsettled. Courage lives in a world replete with the supernatural, and always seems to be at the center of some apparition’s ulterior motives or some apocalyptic crisis that everyone around him seems far less worried about. He’s constantly saving his old decrepit owners, even when they themselves become possessed and senseless.
Living in this dystopic world, it’s only natural that Courage would gravitate towards reads with stretched realities. The Lottery by Shirley Jackson relays a world in which a ‘lottery’ is established for picking a single citizen [SPOILER AHEAD] to be stoned to death – all in the hopes to spur coming harvests. Growing up in the vast remote plains, forever prone to absurdities, Courage understands the book’s superstitions. He’s read the story over and over and, despite knowing the story down to punctuation, he still can’t wrap his mind around the unfair position he (always the hero) and the woman in the story (the random sacrifice) are put in.
Lisa Simpson, The Bell Jar
One of the most readerly cartoon characters out there, Lisa’s favorite book is one of notable significance. Plath’s book is one not suited for the untrained reader. She’s read The Bell Jar front to back, back to front, and will probably return to it throughout her life. As a smart, feminist minded girl, Lisa connects to Esther Greenwood’s feelings of oppression and can grapple with larger themes of mental illness and clinical therapy. Lisa’s also been known to pick up a Plath poem or two.
How do you think he became such a talented banjo player? Between wooing Patti Mayonnaise and fantasizing about his alter ego, Quilman, Doug likes to sit quietly in his room, write in his journal and read up on the history of Bluegrass. He admires the work of Bill Monroe, a central focus of the memoir, and can relate to author Gene Lowinger’s upbringing as a simple suburban boy who loved folk music.
Squidward, You Are A Badass
No question about it, Squidward is an intellectual. He plays clarinet, cooks with finesse, and pursues the arts in myriad form. He’s read Plato and Dostoevsky and Hegel and breezed through Gravity’s Rainbow. But none of these books can fill the void of his emptied self-confidence and poor temper. What Squidward really needed was a cerebral refreshment form Jen Sincero.
Squidward can’t praise the book enough. It’s helped him to stop doubting his intelligence and quit trying to prove his creative abilities. Most importantly, he now feels assured – and humbled – that despite not having his dream job, he is talented. Lashing out at his co-workers is not the answer to his frustrations. He wrote Spongebob a long apology after his read.
Jenny the Teenage Robot, Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep
The teen years – a perfect time to have an existential crisis and ponder the philoso-moral questions of artificial intelligence. What does it mean for the fate of humanity if androids, who look just like humans, have no empathy? This is the question in Philip K. Dick’s sci-fi read, and the same one Jenny mulls over between arguing with her mom and drawing hearts on her notebook. The novel, which follows bounty hunter Rick Deckard on a quest to capture 6 escaped androids, doesn’t exactly answer the question of human v. android. Instead, it offers the continued pursuit of truth – what propels the story – as something ubiquitous to android and human. Similarities, not differences, are to be relished: an important lesson for any human or non-human teenager to learn.
Patrick Star, Moby Dick
Few people know that Patrick has a literary side. Beneath his rock, he’s not just watching TV and heating up microwave dinners: he’s reading, philosophizing, and working on his debut novel. He’s got a tongue for turn of phrase and jocular political commentary, but when he’s reading, his favorite books are those about the sea. Moby Dick is his favorite because, being familiar with Sandy the squirrel, he feels he can understand the hardship of man just as well as he can understand the whale. He likes how the book centers on his beautiful homeland, and the Melville classic will always hold a tender spot in his heart.
Helga Pataki, Little Women
Beneath her stubborn front, Helga is actually a softy who likes to write love poems for Arnold. She also loves to read. Little Women isn’t her favorite just because she can relate to Jo’s Tomboy personality and love of writing. She also feels a connection to Laurie’s unrequited feelings for Jo, given Helga suffers from her own lovelorn heart spellbound by Arnold. Although she’s never understood Meg’s high-society pursuits and dependence upon others, Helga likes to think she’d fit right in with the March sisters.
What would your favorite character be reading? Share your ideas in the comments!
Featured image courtesy of Hellogiggles.