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Socio Political Smurfs

Smurfette is a secondary creation, in that she was made after the males. She has a heart of stone, and technically, she is unnatural. Physically and metaphorically, she is not a 'real' smurf. She is, in short, bad and wrong, as patriarchal cultures have viewed women for centuries.

Smurfette has no breasts


Smurfette has no breasts. I believe this is significant when we consider how Smurfette was created. She began life as the almost Frankensteinian creation of Gargomel. As a capitalist, he naturally is treating her as a commodity, something which can be made, used and disposed of, all ultimately to make him money. The idea that a woman can be made by a man denies women's key role in procreation. The fact that she does not posess breasts goes further to this denial of nature, an attempt to control women, to make them conform to the societal norm imposed by the patriachal order.

Smurfette is definitely the 'object' of the male gaze. Since she is the object, the males are the subjects. They are active, she is passive.

In an ideal, sexist, patriarchal state, women are not a part of the community. They do not occupy the 'public sphere' of work and the outside world, and they certainly do not work. Smurfette's main occupation seems to be standing around looking pretty, ie 'being the woman', although when it comes to problem solving, the producers have not, thankfully, made her a brainless bimbo. She is quite a bit sharper than the rest of the Smurfs, except of course, for Papa.

The dimunitive suffix of ette common in our society also identifies Smurf...


The dimunitive suffix of 'ette', common in our society, also identifies Smurfette as being not the equal of the males. She is the second sex.

The incursion of the new characters later in the series/eighties, such as the Smurflings, with their colours and different clothes and looks, can be viewed in the real world as an incursion by commercial interests to increase the popularity and sellability old the show. In the show, metaphorically, they represent Western intrusion to the utopian harmony of the Smurf Village, just as Gorbachev's glasnost and perestroika reforms in the mid to late eighties heralded the ultimate demise of the Soviet Union.

Gargomel owns his house and everything in it including the capital of his al...


Gargomel owns his house and everything in it, including the capital of his alchemical equipment, in nothing like the way that the Smurfs own their village. If the same political structure existed at Gargomel's house, both he and Azrael would be equal owners, regardless of Gargomel's superior size, knowledge and skill. But Azrael owns nothing.

Gargomel's ginger cat, Azrael, represents the worker in the ruthless, free-market state that is Gargomel's house. He is uncomplaining, or, since he has no voice (ie. Trade Unions), is metaphorically unable to complain. He cannot negotiate his wage - he eats whatever he is given by his master. He is smaller and less well-off than Gargomel, and metaphorically, he represents the proletariat, while Gargomel represents the bourgeoise. Azrael is exploited and oppressed. He risks his life fighting and hunting for his master, and does not have the intellectual capacity to question this state of affairs, just as the worker suffered his fate for centuries because education was off limits to him, and he had no other option but to work for his bosses.

Gargomel is a cold, bitter and ultimately empty man. This is because he has nothing else in his life but a soulless quest for wealth and possessions. A definite statement about the anti-social effects of economic rationalism.

In the tradition of pure Marxism, the Smurf Village is atheist. There is no god, and there is no Priest Smurf. There are only the 'real' forces of nature and physics, and these are represented metaphorically by the characters of Mother Nature and Father Time. Of course, there is also magic, as practised by Papa, Gargomel, Balthazar and others, but it is simply another tool, something that occurs in nature, that has physical properties and can be tapped into, with the right know-how. It is not, as many religions are, a way of understanding the universe in a supernatural context.

Despite their different professions/distinctions the Smurfs are all complete...


Despite their different professions/distinctions, the Smurfs are all completely equal. Thus, while the occupations of certain Smurfs, such as Farmer, Handy and Greedy, are more important than others, such as Clumsy, Grouchy, or Lazy, there is no feeling that certain Smurfs are superior or inferior to others because of their work, or level of skill, because ultimately, everyone is a Smurf first.

Papa Smurf represents Karl Marx


Papa Smurf represents Karl Marx. He is not so much the leader of the Smurfs as an equal revered by the others for his age and wisdom. He has a beard, as did Marx, and thus could conceivably be a caricature as well. And lastly, he wears red, which is the traditional colour of socialism. Brainy Smurf could represent Trotsky. He is the only one in the village who comes close to matching Papa's intellect - he is a thinker. With his round spectacles, he could also be a caricature of Trotsky. He is often isolated, ridiculed or even ejected from the commune of the village for his ideas. And of course, Trotsky was banished from the USSR.

How do you make a better woman? In other words how do you make a woman who is acceptable by society (ie. the Village or our own society)? One, you take all the fight out of her. Make her compliant, make her toe the line created and maintained by the male-dominated social structure. One visual example of this is her transformation from a brunette to a blonde. Western society traditionally stereotypes dark-haired women as brainy, but blondes as dumber, but more beautiful and desirable. And that is another way to make a better woman. You make her beautiful. Essentially, when Papa Smurf casts his spell to make Smurfette a 'real' Smurf, the visible difference ws that she was more 'beautiful' as well. Thus it follows that before, she was ugly. So when it comes to women, ugly equals wrong, and beautiful equals right, and in a sense, real. But why is one thing beautiful and another thing not? Who says??Ultimately, the patriachal order. And the Smurf Village, with its 99:1 ratio of males to females, is definitely a patriarchy. This adds to he idea of woman as commodity - she is changed and made by men, and is beautiful by their standards. And at the end of it she is thankful.

Monique Wittig wrote that women are defined as women, while men are defined by their occupation, the idea being that men have occupatons but women do not. For example, if an accident was being reported, the victims might be described as 'a teacher, a plumber and a woman'. Smurfette is unique in the village in that she is not defined by an occupation or a personality trait like the male, or real Smurfs, but by her sex. She is not a real member of society because of her sex, and this is represented metaphorically in the show by the fact that she was created by Gargomel.

What does Gargomel want to do with the Smurfs? He has two ideas. The first is to eat them. This is unusual, because the Smurfs are small and rare, and would not make as good eating as, say, a deer. It is similar to Sylvester's obsession with eating the golf ball sized meal that is Tweety Bird. There are two explanations. The first is that metaphorically, he wants to devour socialism, as the West wanted to do to the USSR and its satellites during the Cold War through its tactic of encirclement. The second is that as a pure capitalist, he wishes to turn everything into a commodity - including people. The second thing Gargomel plans to do to the Smurfs once he catches them is to turn them into gold. As the ultimate supercapitalist, he is more concerned with his own wealth than with equality and fairness. Like any Adam Smith style capitalist, it is his 'natural' state to want as much money as he can get.

The evil wizard Gargomel represents capitalism.?He embodies everything bad about capitalism.He is greedy, ruthless, and his only concern is with his own personal gratification. He is what happens when the individual makes himself more important than the society he lives in. Not coincidentally, he is also a crazy old hermit wth no real friends.

The episode The King Smurf was the ultimate illustration of the Marxian conflict between the bad, oppressive kind of government, where greedy kings (and capitalists) exploited the population for their own ends; and the good, egalitarian political model Marx had formulated. In the episode, a militia is formed to overthrow Brainy, who has become King in Papa Smurf's absence, and utopian order is restored when Papa Smurf returns. In this instance, Papa Smurf, as Marx himself, represents the ideal form of Marxism.

Adding to the idea of complete equality in the Village, most of the Smurfs wear the same kind and colour of clothes. It is a general work uniform, and with the distinctive caps and blue skin, is highly reminiscent of the so-called Mao Suit, common in Maoist China.

The Smurfs all refer to one another by the same title


The Smurfs all refer to one another by the same title; 'Smurf'. Eg, Brainy Smurf, Handy Smurf, Jokey Smurf, Lazy Smurf, Papa Smurf. This is highly reminiscent of socialist states' use of the word 'comrade' when referring to others, instead of more elitist titles.

Economically, the Smurf Village is closed-market. There is no money, and all possessions are communal - property of the collective. Everyone is equally a worker and an owner. The Smurfs reject the idea of a free-market economy, with its greed and inequities, and the collective is more important and valuable than the individual. The whole is greater than the sum of its parts. John Lennon asked us to 'imagine no possessions'. The Smurf Village achieves that goal. In fact, many of the ideas expressed in that song are reality in the Village. There is one large piece of capital, or produced means of production, in the Smurf Village: the dam. It is owned, operated and repaired by the entire collective.

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