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There are many characters in the television show SpongeBob SquarePants. These characters share many traits, but also have their share of differences. Eugene Krabs and Squidward Tentacles are a great example. Mr. Krabs is the owner of the successful fast-food restaurant, the Krusty Krab, where Squidward works as a cashier. One similarity the two share is that they are viewed as intellectual creatures in Bikini Bottom, unlike SpongeBob and Patrick who are viewed as, for lack of a better term “morons”. Squidward and Mr. Krabs are both seeking happiness, but what makes them happy are two different things. Squidward is pleased by luxurious items and Mr. Krabs is influenced by money.
Squidward is a relatively gloomy character in the show, but he finds pleasure in the finer things. He likes to play his clarinet, paint self-portraits, and read about luxurious mansions. His lifestyle resembles the ideas of the German Philosopher Arthur Schophenauer. Schophenauer had a very dreary view of life, he says that life is “not only miserable, but meaningless”. The philosopher said that there is no purpose for anyone’s actions since we have no understanding of the world around us. This would explain why Squidward always seems so down in the dumps, he feels like everything that he does is pointless. Schophenauer also says that desire causes misery because people do not have what they want, and they struggle to obtain it. We can see this in Squidward’s life also. Squidward desperately wants to be noticed as an artist, either by becoming a famous painter or a clarinet player. When he feels like he is not being recognized as an artist he loses his temper and takes his anger out on anyone that he can find. Desire never goes away, there will always be something that we desire until the day that we die. In Squidward’s case, he will never be satisfied, even if he does become a famous artist or clarinet player. This is not his fault however; this is just human nature. Schophenauer says that this is because of what he calls the will. He says that the will is what influences everyone’s decisions. Therefore, the will is what causes people to want more than they can obtain. The life-long pursuit of something that is unattainable, is what Schophenauer says causes life to be miserable. The will of two people can compete with one another and cause even more unhappiness. Think about all the times where Squidward has been doing something he loves to do but is interrupted by SpongeBob and Patrick who are trying to pursue their own happiness. This is known as bellum omnium, which is the struggle between people. This is why Schophenauer says that happiness is unobtainable, because for a person to truly be happy, the desires of other people must not cause any problems with their own.
There is a brighter side to Schophenauer’s beliefs, however. He says that there is optimism through art, in what he calls the artistic perspective. His reasoning for this is simple, when an artist is drawing or painting something that everyone can see, they are not using their will. They are drawing purely from a general idea, so nothing is left to perception, and therefore there is nothing to be desired from the painting. Schophenauer says that music expresses emotions in a way that is disconnected from the things in life that cause misery. For example, the tone of some music is gloomy and sad, but there is also music that is more upbeat and makes you happy when you hear it. Music can cause your mood to change. If something bad happens to you or you are just having a bad day, listening to a happy song can cheer you up, even if it is just for around three or four minutes at a time. Music has the same effect on Squidward. In the show, we can see that Squidward is at his happiest when he is playing the clarinet. He gets lost in the music and forgets all about the external influences that makes him sad.
Eugene Krabs is the greediest character in SpongeBob SquarePants and is often referred to as a “crustaceous cheapskate.” We can see him put himself and others in harm’s way just to save a couple dollars. In the episode “Clams” a giant clam eats Krabs’ millionth dollar. Mr. Krabs’ response is to trap SpongeBob and Squidward on his boat (which is ironically called the S.S. Cheapskate). He even tries to use his two employees as bait for the giant clam. When the clam showed itself, Krabs jumped into its wide-open mouth with no hesitation. The clam then closes its mouth and seems to have eaten Mr. Krabs. After a minute or two, the clam’s mouth opens at the skeleton of Mr. Krabs emerges, holding the millionth dollar. He then explains to SpongeBob and Squidward that he made a deal with the clam. The clam agreed to give Krabs’ millionth dollar back in exchange for his body, which Mr. Krabs says was “nothing important”. This goes against the beliefs of the great Greek philosopher Aristotle. Aristotle argued that the pursuit of wealth is only important in meeting a different need. This means that Krabs’ pursuit of wealth will never make him truly happy.
Mr. Krabs has ruined some relationships because of his greediness. In “Krusty Love” Mr. Krabs asks Mrs. Puff out on a date. While on the date, Mr. Krabs sends SpongeBob out to buy whatever Mrs. Puff’s heart desires. This causes the date to end in disaster however, because Mr. Krabs worries to much about how much money he is spending and eventually loses his temper and yells at SpongeBob for spending all of his money. Mr. Krabs also takes advantage of the community to make more money. In one episode, Mr. Krabs puts a wishing well outside of the Krusty Krab and then, at the end of the day, takes all of the money out that people throw in. This shows us that when it comes to money, Mr. Krabs has no morals. German philosopher Karl Marx would say that Krabs only sees people as important when they are giving him something.
It may not seem like it, but there are some similarities between Mr. Krabs and Squidward. First of all, they will both lose their temper when they don’t get their way. There have been multiple times where Squidward has gotten angry and yelled at SpongeBob and Patrick because they interrupted him in whatever he was doing. Mr. Krabs has also taken his anger out on SpongeBob or Squidward when the register comes up short. Mr. Krabs and Squidward are viewed as two of the more intelligent creatures in Bikini Bottom. When you look at other characters in the show, such as SpongeBob, Patrick, or even some of the minor characters, Mr. Krabs and Squidward are definitely on the higher end of the intelligence spectrum. These are just two of the many similarities between the two characters.
In conclusion, Mr. Krabs and Squidward are two very different characters, but have their share of similarities. Squidward is overall a very melancholic character. Everything about him suggests that he is a sad individual. He is a dull teal color, and even his house is a boring shade of grey. He aligns closely with the ideas of Arthur Schophenauer. Mr. Krabs is very greedy, and will do anything to make a profit, even if it puts the community at risk. This agrees with one of Karl Marx’s ideas; that some individuals only care about other people when it will benefit them. What makes the two characters happy also differs between the two characters. Squidward finds pleasure in playing his clarinet and painting self-portraits, while money is what makes Mr. Krabs happy.
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