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Analysis / Ed, Edd n Eddy

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Criticizing Capitalism and the American Dream for Kids

Whether intentional or not, Eddy's relentless pursuit of money and the hero worship of his older brother reveal a truly horrific side of Capitalism and the American Dream and the toll it takes on you.

The main driving force of Eddy's character for the entirety of the series run, even above money, is to be successful and cool. To make the other kids respect him. Unfortunately, due to his abusive upbringing at the hands of his older brother, and without the loving support of his parents, Eddy gained a warped view of how to achieve these things. To be successful and cool he needed money, and to obtain that quickly and easily he needed to scam people. He thought that money could buy him happiness when all it really did was isolate him more and more. But because this was all he knew, Eddy refused to try something else. If it worked for his brother it had to work for him too.

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Eddy's brother himself symbolizes all of the negative aspects of the American Dream. Here is a person that is constantly built up as being really cool and revered by everyone; although we are given a hint of this not being the case in season three's "Ed... Pass it On" when Rolf reacts to Eddy's brother's rumored return to the cul-de-sac with crippling fear and Eddy himself reacts the same way when he's tricked into thinking he really has returned. It's later confirmed in the series finale that all of the cool things Eddy bragged about his brother were blatantly untrue and he's nothing more than a violent, sociopathic bully. Thus everything Eddy thought that he wanted out of life was based on a lie he kept telling himself because he was raised to believe that was the way the world has to work to get ahead in life.

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Even the other two Eds represent different victims of a Capitalist system. Ed is the exploited working class who doesn't understand that he's being taken advantage of and Double D is the "woke worker" who realizes that there's a glaring problem but doesn't know how to fight it and feels powerless against it. The two most important people in Eddy's life typically become tools for him to use in his never ending quest for capital.

By the series end, Eddy finally accepts that his desire to be cool was a shallow and petty one and that the lessons he learned from his brother were only perpetuating his misery and loneliness. The final scene from the series finale shows the Eds and the kids coming together in harmony and leading more happy, fulfilling lives. Kevin even offers to share his jawbreakers with everyone. Even he is no longer bound to a Capitalist mentality of hoarding something of which he has always had an endless supply. Eddy has finally achieved what he always wanted and all it took was to be himself and learn to be more empathetic.

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In short, Danny Antonucci and his crew have shown viewers that these pursuits for excessive capital and America's idea of success will only serve to hurt you. Rather than looking for ways to beat others, try looking for ways to help them instead.

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