March 11, 2011

Mister Smartypants And Little Miss MLA

So what you're saying, Amazon UK reviewer Hamilton Richardson, is that maybe I was wrong, and ad man Roger Hargreaves did not create the Mister Men and Little Miss series purely as a merchandise licensing scheme, but as an ambitious and deeply meaningful exercise in literary and social criticism?

For indeed, what does he come face-to-face with at the foot of these stairs but his own repressed sadness? This comes in the form of his miserable alter ego - physically identical, polar opposite in mood. It is only through this confrontation with the shadow that his unsustainable persona can find authentic resolution and true integration of the self be achieved. These archetypes are quite literally brought to light as Mr Happy coaxes Mr Miserable up to the surface and into view of the conscious mind in a climax of now genuine peace and bliss.

In a knowing nod to his source material, Hargreaves depicts Mr Happy as round - a shape he shares with the mandala.

[via andrewsullivan]

Previously: Mr. Private Equity and Little Miss Licensing

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