166 of 173 people found the following review helpful
Freud Helps Hargreaves Loosen His Tie,
This review is from: Mr. Tickle (Mr. Men Digital) (Paperback)Hargreaves' first work, and regarded by many as his masterpiece, Mr Tickle is something of a rarity amongst the Mr Men books. Elsewhere, we see much exposition on the pitfalls of excess - such as in Mr Greedy and Mr Messy, for instance - but a distinct lack of discourse on personalities that are over- rather than under-regulated. A case in point might be another work, Mr Fussy, which stands out as an opportunity glaringly missed. Despite a faintly ridiculing tone to the prose, this is essentially a lamentation on how others cannot live up to the high ideals and perfectionism of its titular central character. It is at best an ambiguous critique of repression, and Mr Fussy escapes the moral judgment so often dished out to others in the series.
So what a glorious anomaly we find in Mr Tickle - a breath of fresh air from the unrestrained id. The all-consuming sensual delight he offers relentlessly disrupts the social order. A postman drops all his letters in a puddle, the tickling of a policeman causes a traffic jam, and the unbearable reverie he inflicts upon a station master brings the local rail network to a temporary standstill. There is something almost Bakhtinian about the manner in which he tickles a dour schoolmaster until he loses control in front of his class.
But Mr Tickle is not Stirner's Egoist, nor does he proclaim `do what thou wilt shall be the whole of the law'. And if he is a terrorist, his weapons are laughter and ecstasy. Though his principal targets may well be those who wear uniforms - those who exercise, embody and therefore are most in the grip of Authority - we would be mistaken to think that Hargreaves' purpose is to challenge the external Social Order. Rather, it is to loosen the vice-like grip of an interior foe: the overdeveloped Superego.
We note that Mr Tickle himself is no slave to sensory delight - quite the opposite; he is a model of psychical equilibrium. At the end of his day's escapades he relaxes in an armchair, sated and quiescent. Our hero preaches a message of catharsis - a call to arms against becoming too bogged down by self-suppression and normative regulation. Via psychoanalysis, we arrive at an Aristotlean middle way, and are left with the gentle realisation of our need to give a measure of expression to desire and joy.
Because one thing we can be sure of is that the more we repress the pleasure principle, the more we guarantee that sooner or later we will fall victim to an overpowering and fervid release from the id.
And rest assured, it will be at just that hour we fail our Superego the most.
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Showing 1-6 of 6 posts in this discussion
Initial post: 7 Apr 2011 23:12:29 BDT
Rob Merton says:
Clearly the physical deformities of the title character are presented as no hindrance to his ability to live a full life, but I feel supremely uncomfortable when considering the unempathic nature of his personality. His behaviour is antisocial, bordering on dangerous at times, and hiding it behind a humorous facade makes the juxtaposition all the more pronounced. In fact, the prospect of Tickle having the liberty of the school, while the teacher is rendered helpless, is truly disturbing, and I am left concerned by the moral message (or rather lack of it) that this book presents.
In reply to an earlier post on 5 Sep 2011 17:17:09 BDT
R. H. Bambury says:
The reviewer would be appalled, and Mr Merton no doubt gladdened, to hear of Mr Tickle's commeuppance at the hands of neo-fascist and self appointed fun-police superintendent Little Miss Magic.
Posted on 13 Dec 2011 14:40:39 GMT
I love you
Posted on 15 Dec 2011 10:21:24 GMT
An excellent review - truely enjoyed reading this!
In reply to an earlier post on 21 Mar 2012 01:03:45 GMT
wendy jones says:
I bought my little boy Mr Tickle on the strength of your review, but I think the nuances went over his head.
Posted on 18 May 2012 12:42:13 BDT
Honey monster says:
Whoever you are.. I know this is a tad previous.. But will you marry me?
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