Like Tom & Jerry

My daughter is very proud of me for writing this blog. She always wants to know what I am writing about and what the reactions are. And so does my son.

A while ago already she actually asked me if I could write a post for her. When I asked her what she wanted that post to be about, she simply said ‘Tom & Jerry’.

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I will write this post entirely for her. Well, for me a little bit as well. And it makes me happy to do so. I will not try to spark any interest with this one, not aim to get my views up or attract new followers. This is just about me and my little girl. But, please, feel free to share your thoughts if you like to. You are always welcome to.

When she first approached me, I thought that was because she was watching it at that moment and that it would be about creating a new ‘Tom & Jerry’ story.

So I asked her what exactly she wanted me to write about and she said: ” I want you to write about ‘Tom & Jerry’ and why they always fight and hurt each other, although it is obvious that they actually like each other.”

Hhhmm… Good point!

So I asked her: “Why do you think they fight?” and she told me, that they fight because they hurt each other and they fight back. Why do they start? She had no answer to this…

It is kind of weird, the whole dynamic… They do fight each other all the time. And they try to involve others from time to time (bulldog and his puppy, other cats, other mice) to help fighting against the other one. But then they team up on others as well, just to go back and fight each other again, once they are done with the third party. And still it seems that they get along…

First of all I think it is a lot of fighting… And now, writing this, I actually think, it is a lot about life and people too.

Let’s have a look at Jerry:
He is what we consider the little guy, the weaker opponent, the pray. The cheeky and smart little mouse, small but oh so clever, who wants nothing more than good food and a cozy home. Don’t we all? He wants the big slice of cheese and of course he wants to get it the easy way, happy to even snap it from someone else’s plate. And he wants to survive!

But then there is Tom:
The cat, the big guy, the strong one. It seems like he is superior to the mouse. And of course, he is the predator.  Actually a pretty lazy cat, who has to chase mice in order to maintain his lifestyle. Tom is pretty clumsy and I think not the sharpest tool in the shed. Still, he tries hard to please his human (just so he doesn’t get kicked out of his home or beaten by a broom) and catch the intruder.

Kind of sounds familiar, doesn’t it?

Who doesn’t want the big piece of cheese, maybe even by taking it from someone’s plate?

But then there is this hurdle in your way! By far not as smart as you! But between you and your cheese, trying to catch you, trying to make your life miserable…

Still, that hurdle has issues too!

In this case he doesn’t want to work. All he wants is to be cozy and still get what he needs. But suddenly he faces loosing it all or getting beaten and needs to react, needs to step up. And he tries so hard. Too hard at times. And in the process is actually destroying more than helping at all. So his situation actually gets worse. The pressure builds and so he gets angrier maybe more aggressive.

In this case most of the time the pray outsmarts the predator, the little guy succeeds and is not taking any crap from the big guy. He actually outsmarts him. And when they have to work together in order to overcome a common threat, they team up. Only to then realize that they need to fight and compete against each other again to stick to their grounds.

I wonder, do they really like each other? Or is it just that they need each other?

I wonder if there is a deeper meaning to it. If it is meant to be life made into a cartoon. If we are supposed to watch a mouse and a cat teach us a lesson on life…

Or if it was just only about making kids and also adults laugh while watching a little mouse outsmart and beat up a big cat…

My girl definitely had me thinking here. And I truly wanted to figure it out. Why do they fight? Why do they have to fight? Is it really that much fun watching two individuals fight and beat the hell out of each other? Why is it considered to be fun? What is the idea behind it?

I kind of get that it is interesting to see how the little guy succeeds, how he outsmarts the big guy, the threat. Is it about a lesson on never giving up? But then, can that not be taught in a more peaceful way? Does it always have to be violent?

I find it is slightly disturbing, that there has to be so much violence, that we actually laugh when we see them beat each other up. Imagine that kind of violence in a real movie? I admit, I laugh as well and I really don’t want to preach here. But thinking about it makes me wonder.

It makes me wonder why it triggers laughing in us. Is it because it is so surreal?

I observe my daughter while she watches ‘Tom & Jerry’ and she laughs but at the same time she can not understand why they are so mean with each other, why they are so violent and why they not just get along.

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And finally to try to answer her question: Why do they fight, if they obviously like each other?

I think they fight each other because that is the only way they know. They fight because that is the interaction everyone expects from them. They fight each other because they don”t know what to do with each other otherwise. They fight each other because it gives them purpose in life.

And that definitely reminds me of something…

A lot of thoughts for a simple cartoon, don’t you think so? And now my head is spinning…

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32 thoughts on “Like Tom & Jerry

  1. I liked it, too — and not just because my youngest son went through a “Tom and Jerry” phase. (He had a tendency watch only one show at a time: Blue’s Clues and Max and Ruby were his all-time favorites). Violent cartoons bothered me, too, but I still watched them b/c there wasn’t much else on TV in the 1970s.

    I loved the thought that you were writing a post for your little girl, and I enjoyed seeing you look for the “lessons” in”Tom and Jerry.”

    Liked by 1 person

  2. This post is so thought provoking that it makes my head spin too! Like my daughters, I enjoyed Tom and Jerry and other similar cartoons very much. Now when I think about it I do see the violence. But why didn’t I think of these cartoons as violent before? I only enjoyed them as funny and entertaining… Could it be because the characters always came back happy and healthy after each encounter? Is it because the resilience and hope within the characters convinced me that they were not really getting hurt? Or that they were strong enough to take whatever came their way? I certainly will think some more. Thanks for this post!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Thanks for a thought-provoking post even though the topic “Tom & Jerry” seems quite innocent enough, or in your words ‘a simple cartoon’. I enjoyed your analysis and I also think it’s such a beautiful gesture that you wrote a post in response to your daughter’s request 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Great post. Being a simple person, I try to look at things simply for what they are, but an analyzation such as this certainly makes you think. Is it merely a silly cartoon or is it a representation of the human condition … fight what you don’t know, fight who our enemies are supposed to be even though we are all humans/animals??? Mice and cats are supposed to be enemies, right?
    FBF

    Liked by 1 person

  5. I love tom and jerry and some episodes that i really really like is when they help each other. Its like having fights with your siblings. You sort of hate them and try to annoy them but at the end of it all, you just cant deny that you love them and you are concerned 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

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  7. Perhaps as part of your homeschooling, you should open up your platform here for your kids to write some posts. Might be a good introduction for them on how to write and give them some immediate feedback from others as well. Sounds like your little girl already has ideas on where she could take this blog! LOL!

    Liked by 1 person

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