The Violence and Villains of Little Orphan Annie


Annie is taken in by the Futiles, "The poorest folks in town," but with hearts of gold. It so happens that Mr. Pinchpenny holds the mortgage to the Futile's poor dwelling, which allows Gray to further push the villainous quality of Pinchpenny. Yes, he is the widow-evicting type. Upon hearing that the Futiles have taken Annie and Sandy in, he demands that the constable remove her to the county home. If Annie hadn't saved the constable's crippled son's life, that's where she'd be. Faced with the news, Pinchpenny demands that the full mortgage, which he has so graciously postponed collecting beforehand, be paid in full immediately. On the day that the Futiles are to be evicted, Annie saves the day with a "roll" she had received from Warbucks previously. Though these actions might be considered small potatoes after other villains Annie has faced, Gray is simply setting the groundwork. With a story that's close to a year in length, Gray has the luxury of exploring the characters more fully. The true villainy is soon to come.

Setting the Groundwork

The new year (1933) introduces a new character, Elmer Pinchpenny, who is simply a shorter version of his father. Once again, evil begets evil. Elmer is a spoiled brat with not one scruple, as we find out when he purposely runs over Sandy in an attempt to kill him. As Sandy recovers from his near-fatal injuries, Annie plays detective and slowly plots her revenge. She plans, with Tom Take, to have a steel dog, which coincidentally looks a great deal like Sandy, left on the side of a road which the younger Pinchpenny uses on a particular night of the week. The revenge is as follows:

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