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Literature Analysis: Bart Simpson, Bloody Sire, I Do, I Will, I Have

One of my favorite Simpsons episodes, Bart Sells His Soul, originally aired in season seven of the long-running hit animation series. This episode is structured in three acts. In act one, Milhouse tells on Bart for replacing Sunday's church music "In The Garden of Eden" with "In-A-Gadda-Da-Vida." While they are engaged in cleaning the organ pipes, their punishment, Bart tells Milhouse he does not believe in a soul and sells Milhouse his soul for $5.00. Bart plays a trick on Lisa with the magic dinosaur sponges he buys with his $5.00. When he tells Lisa where he got the money, she is horrified and warns him that Milhouse owns him now. When Bart goes to his room after ignoring her concerns, SLH growls at him and Snowball hisses and meows at him, the first signs of his lack of soul. Other signs are when Bart runs into the glass door of the Kwik-E-Mart and when he tries to fog the glass with his breath but it does not fog up. In the meantime, Moe considers changing his dank bar into a family restaurant. When Bart does not laugh during an Itchy and Scratchy show, Lisa tells him Pablo Neruda maintained, "Laughter is the language of the soul" (Archer, 1995). When Bart doesn't laugh at Homer slipping on a skateboard, Lisa tells him she believes he really did lose his soul.

In act two, Bart goes to Milhouse's place. Bart tries to get Milhouse to sell him back his soul, but Milhouse wants $50.00. Homer watches a commercial that features Moe singing about his new family restaurant. Marge puts Bart to bed and maintains he seems like he is missing something. He dreams Milhouse, his soul, and Milhouse's soul ferry off to an island, while he is stuck in a boat going in circles. Homer takes his family to Moe's new restaurant, where Moe's gruff demeanor offends families when children taunt him and play pranks on him. Act two ends as Lisa says grace and Bart cannot stand the tension any longer and runs out of Moe's. <...

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