Thursday, September 1, 2016

1939 textbook: Stick figures Arthur and Bill attempt to get a job

The above story about stick-figure job-seekers Arthur and Bill appears on page 371, in a unit titled "Growing Bones and Working Muscles," of the 1939 textbook Pathways to Health and Safety, which was written by J. Mace Andress, I.H. Goldberger and Grace T. Hallock and published by Ginn and Company.

The comprehensive 521-page book has sections titled Cleanliness in Greece and Rome, Hair and Fingernails, Overcoming Eye Faults, The Nose Route, Making the Most of Your Feet, In the Woods and Fields, What to Eat, What Not to Eat, Drugs That May Harm the Heart, What Happens When You Are Asleep and Skill in Walking.

The obvious implication of this six-panel story, made with subtle stick-figure details, is that Bill is stronger, faster, has a better posture and combs his hair. Arthur is weak. He slouches, trails behind and has Bad Hair. Arthur will lose the job. Arthur will lose at life. Arthur will slouch off into the forest and become Slender Man, feeding on unwise children and thus keeping Darwinism barreling forward.

Arthur might forget his True Name, but he will never forget this day.

That's a lot of clever storytelling packed into a six-panel cartoon, don't you think?

1 comment:

  1. I thought it was going conclude with Arthur getting the job because he tricked Bill into waiting for him allowing Arthur to run past Bill and get the job.