Blog post

Return to sweet memories: Whose side where you on, Tom or Jerry’s

7 June 2020By Joanna IK

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Knowing the world

Come join me on a journey where sweet memories are our destination today. Instead of returning to the new normal, let’s return to the lightheartedness which does or should define childhood. Let your imagination run free and fun for life guide you through the day.

It all begins with a favourite cartoon series of all time: Tom and Jerry. You can’t imagine how sorry I used to feel, as a child, for one of them.

The story

The story revolved around the rivalry between Tom and Jerry; a big cat and a small mouse. Action took place mainly in the house where Tom lived as the family pet and Jerry, as an unexpected guest. They would chase around the house to loud music, no dialogue, only giggles and surprise screams here and there, to highlight the chase.

The two heroes

Tom had a space of his own and seemed to be pampered. Jerry was his unexpected neighbour, living in a hole in the wall. Tom was filled with determination and energy. Jerry was full of pep and knew his way round. Tom lacked what Jerry enjoyed to a great extent: physical strength. Little Jerry lifted weight which Tom would find challenging. I wonder how he may have felt about that.

And action!

Each episode opened with Tom planning to get his hands on Jerry. No, not for the same reason a cat would chase a mouse offline. Rather, to prove to himself that he was the strong one, or to carry favour with people who expected him to catch Jerry.

Tom tried hard and saw his attempt end in failure. Jerry slipped through the cracks every single time. What if he had just broken a vase, or taken the cheese in the fridge, or left the tap running. In the end, Tom was usually told off.

Oh, I don’t justify Tom’s actions – for sure. However, what he’d usually go through wasn’t fair. It takes two to tango. Right?

Whose side I was on

Well, I was on Tom’s side. In fact, I felt sorry for him. What he tried to prove would get him in trouble. It made him look helpless. I wonder if he understood that Jerry knew. Otherwise, Jerry wouldn’t rattle his cage. True, I didn’t approve of Tom’s actions, the way I didn’t approve of Jerry’s attempt to get back to him. That still sounds like revenge. What’s the use! It’s not nice to put Tom’s tail in the wall plug to have him electrocuted, or cut the tree branch where Tom is sitting to have him fall off.

Children’s series usually have a message to convey. They aim to prepare children for the world of adults, without causing fear. As a child, I somehow felt the need to take sides. To protect Tom. To ask Jerry to put an end to his tricks. Not again! Tom’s tail is tied around the table leg!

How I see things today

In the midst of coronavirus pandemic, I can recall something that skipped my attention then. True, there is competitiveness between Tom and Jerry. There is friendliness as well. How else would you describe the fact that when the one was in (real) danger, the other tried hard to save him? Or when a baby was in danger, they’d work together to save the baby? They joined forces. Their differences could wait.

Tom & Jerry, the 1992 movie

So, if I were to answer the given question today, I’d say one name: Tom. Only to add that I do appreciate Jerry for a certain behaviour. Every time Tom was in danger, Jerry was there for him, willing to help him.

Isn’t that the meaning of solidarity?

Have a lovely and creative June