Barney Fife

September 15, 2008 at 12:46 am | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment
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The Deputy Sheriff of Mayberry is Barney Fife, a proud, spirited, cautious, and well-meaning lawman who, in the hearts of fans, has maintained peace in Mayberry on a regular basis since 1960.

Barney is an anxiety-ridden man who still manages to exude supreme confidence. From time to time his weakness and ineptness does show through, but we and our fellow citizens of Mayberry always find it easy to forgive him. In one episode Barney mistakenly held up the bank’s president, but redeemed himself by later “rescuing” Andy and Helen from a cave that had fallen in. At the end of the episode we can’t help but have Barney’s confident smirk and feel the adoring tug of Thelma Lou on our arm.

For all his clumsy policework, Barney is one of the most trusted citizens in town. He is caring, gentle, and sincere. Although occasionally overtaken by his irrationality, Fife maintains a good relationship with each of his friends and acquaintances. If we were granted a certain number of wishes, many of us might entertain the thought of visiting Mayberry and spending the day with Deputy Sheriff Barney Fife.

Never before has such an unlikely and susceptible character achieved the status of immortality in our minds. He will never save hundreds of lives in a single rescue. He will never possess physical or mental superiority. All he has done is show us who we really are. We see a little of ourselves in his self-exalting pride, his persistent shortcomings, his trustworthiness, and his need to be accepted and loved.

In Barney Fife, we have a friend who we can relate to.

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