|“||Boy, are you stupid, Charlie Brown!||„|
|~ A Charlie Brown Christmas (1965).|
|“||You can't be class president, 'Pig-Pen'! You're a mess, and you have no dignity!||„|
|“||Well, hello, there! You don't know me, do you? My name is "Violet". You're real cute...||„|
Violet Gray (also known as Violet) is a major female character in the comic strip Peanuts by Charles M. Schulz. Her most recognizable feature is her trademark ponytail. Her closest friends are Lucy and Patty.
Violet made her debut on February 7, 1951, making her the first major character to join the cast of the original four Peanuts characters (which consisted of Charlie Brown, Patty, Shermy, and Snoopy). She is best friends with Patty and they would often appear together as a duo. In the early strips, Violet was often portrayed as a preschool-aged Suzy Homemaker: making mud pies, playing "house," and imagining romantic scenarios involving her and Charlie Brown. On rare occasions, Violet was shown walking and keeping company with Shermy. She also collects stamps as a hobby and plays outfield (and sometimes third base) on Charlie Brown's baseball team, usually popping up in that capacity from time to time.
Notably, Violet was the first character ever not to let Charlie Brown kick a football. However, her reason for pulling away was for fear of him kicking her hand, whereas Lucy's motivation is usually sheer malice.
Her birthday is unofficially celebrated by Peanuts fans on June 17. Charlie Brown and "Pig-Pen" attend her birthday party on that date in 1962 (although in the February 22, 1951 strip, she mentions that her birthday was "a month ago", and in the January 29, 1955, strip, Charlie Brown claims her birthday was "yesterday"). Her surname, Gray, was mentioned only once, on April 4, 1953.
Violet's most consistent personality trait is that she tends to be a bit of a snob, oftentimes being very self-conscious and uncomfortable of her appearance and status. It is implied that her family enjoys a considerably higher class standing than the other characters. Both of her parents are college graduates and her father earns more money than Charlie Brown's (although the latter is not much of a claim since Mr. Brown is a barber). In one strip, she orders Linus to dress more stylishly, whereupon he quickly transforms his blanket into an ascot. She also frequently criticizes "Pig-Pen" for his inability to keep himself clean. Violet often looks down on people who fail to meet her elevated social standards, especially towards Charlie Brown, to whom she flatly states in one strip, "It simply goes without saying that you are an inferior human being."
Being supposedly of an upper-class upbringing, Violet also makes it a point to frequently brag about her father. This sometimes leads driving Charlie Brown to the point of aggravation, to which Violet's boastings to him are always comparative and emblematic; to wit, she says, "My dad is taller than your dad", or "My dad has more credit cards than your dad". But in a Father's Day strip, her boasts are quelled for a moment when Charlie Brown takes her to his dad's barber shop. After telling her about how his dad always smiles at him no matter how bad of a workday he is having, Violet is overwhelmed and walks away, but not before quietly wishing Charlie Brown a Happy Father's Day. Her bragging on her dad backfires in another strip when 5 fires back, "My dad goes to PTA meetings!"
Her abuse of Charlie Brown
Violet's verbal assaults on Charlie Brown (usually in tandem with Patty) can be quite cruel - sometimes exceeding even the severity of Lucy's insults. A classic example of this is in the strip from May 3, 1961, in which Violet is seen lashing out at Charlie Brown, finishing him off with the line, "And I don't care if I ever see you again, do you hear me?!" Linus walks in and notices that Charlie Brown is really hurt. Charlie Brown then points out that Violet has not taken all the life out of him, lamenting "but you can number me among the walking wounded."
She thoroughly disliked Charlie Brown and clearly made no bones about it. Violet would insult him viciously and with the utmost cruelty, and was very remorseless and even shameless about it. On occasion, she and Patty will talk about how gentle and kind girls are, then, in the same breath, lash out at Charlie Brown to leave them alone after he showed up. They would also talk about how people should understand others more, especially children, and then, again showing their hypocrisy, cruelly scream at Charlie Brown to go away and leave them alone.
In A Boy Named Charlie Brown, Violet, Patty and Lucy gleefully taunted Charlie Brown with the derisive song "Failure Face", in a cold-hearted attempt to stop him from entering a spelling bee and to solidify in his psyche that he was nothing more than a born loser.
In the December 4, 1959 daily strip, Violet and Patty basically see Charlie Brown's mere presence, even if he doesn't do anything to them, as an affront to their supposed and self-professed superiority. Because of this, they viciously yell at him to go home. After completely demoralizing him, Violet said, "You know, it's a strange thing about Charlie Brown, you almost never see him laugh."
Violet is also the first person to call Charlie Brown a 'blockhead', in the strip from August 16, 1951, a trait that would later be taken over by Lucy.
Another example shows Patty and Violet reciting a very mean-spirited poem, pointing out that "Boys are rotten filled with cotton" and that "Girls are dandy filled with candy!" They then walk away smugly, where Charlie Brown retaliates with the phrase, "Generalities!!!" Still another involves the two berating Charlie Brown (in front of Linus) about a wrong answer Charlie Brown gave to a teacher's question, both going so far as to call him "stupid" and then walking off laughing at him.
Violet often adds a series of Nyah's when she teases Charlie Brown.
Her verbal abuse was not only confined to Charlie Brown. At one point, Violet berated Linus for liking the Great Pumpkin. She called him "just plain stupid crazy," said he was talking "like someone who had just fallen out of a tree" and also called him "stark raving stupid!"
"We're having a party, and you're not invited!"
While Lucy's insults tend to be fairly blunt - calling Charlie Brown names like "blockhead" and making sarcastic remarks at his expense - Patty and Violet prefer to use social exclusion as their weapon, sometimes going to the extremes of making him feel like an outcast. This can be seen as a caricature of the "in crowd" that exists at many elementary and secondary schools - a lording of their own status over peers who are not members of the "in." For example, in one strip they invite him to join their "secret club," and then immediately reject him after he accepts. In an early Sunday strip, Patty and Violet put Charlie Brown and Shermy to work building a clubhouse for them, only to hang a "No Boys Allowed" sign on the clubhouse door after it is finished.
On several other occasions, especially in the early years of the strip, Patty and Violet go out of their way - sometimes with unconcealed glee - to make sure Charlie Brown knows that they are throwing a party and he is not invited. However, Charlie Brown manages to get back at them on several occasions:
In one strip, when they mention excluding Charlie Brown from their party, he lets it roll off his back saying he does not want to go to their "dumb ol' party" anyway. After he leaves, they ponder whether he meant it. Violet is convinced he did, so Patty suggests "In that case, maybe we'd better invite him." In another similar situation, he replies to them saying if they do not like him they are better off not inviting him. Stunned to silence, the girls simply walk away, with Charlie Brown smiling after them.
In the strip from September 1, from 1954, Charlie Brown uncharacteristically threatens to strafe, then bomb their house if he is not invited, to which both girls state "Okay, you're invited." In another strip, he tells the girls that he does not care and runs off laughing, only to become disappointed at being rejected when he is out of sight from them.
Violet also differs from Lucy in that she is less often prone to using physical violence against Charlie Brown. In one Sunday strip, an angry Violet is seen chasing Charlie Brown, threatening to "knock (his) block off". Before she can throw a punch, Charlie Brown stops her and tries to reason with her, saying that there are better ways to solve problems than with violence. Unfazed, Violet ends up punching him in the middle of his speech, and in the final panel admits to Patty, "I had to hit him quick. He was beginning to make sense!"
But Violet's fighting side backfired on her at times, too; in one particular Sunday strip Violet tries matching her in-fighting prowess against Lucy's by throwing a barrage of insults at her - from a distance. But when Violet physically gets in Lucy's face, Lucy blasts back with, "You're a no-good, tale-tattling, little sneaking snip-snap pony-tailed ape!!" Visibly shaken, Violet retreats, as Lucy smiles smugly. (The whole incident was observed by Linus and Charlie Brown, the latter remarking on Violet's choice of words saying "I'm glad it's not me she's yelling at. I'd never be able to take it!").