Monday, March 17, 2008

At the Mooooooovies

I found this out my senior year in Highschool and have no idea how many people know it.  It all started as a joke, a way to goof off in English class, a way to not have to work at an assignment.  We were given the standard research paper.  The topic? An American author.  "Any American author?", I asked.  Yup.  So Dr Seuss it was.

What I was suprised to find out was that he did not write children's books most of the time.  He wrote Children's books for Adults.  These are supposed to make the parent think about "current" events while reading the story to their tots and see it from another perspective.  Oh, Mr Geisel, You're so tricky.

The Lorax:  Deforestation and Human impact on the environment.
The Butter Battle Book:  The Nuclear Arms Race
How The Grinch Stole Christmas:  Commercialization of the holiday
Yertle the Turtle: Hitler's rise to power
The Sneetches:  Segregation

Horton Hears a Who:  This one was written about the Japanese internment camps of WWII.  "A person's a person, no matter how small."

I assume Geisel (for those who haven't picked up, Theodore Geisel was Dr Seuss... He also wrote (and you've probably read) as Theo LeSieg... his last name backwards)... Anyway, I assume Geisel meant "small" not as a reference to the size of the Japanese people, but their percentage of the population.  That we cannot tread on the few, or disregard their rights, just because we outnumber them, because we're larger, because we can and it makes us feel safer.

Pick up a Seuss you've got laying around (we've all got them) and give it a re-read... try to bring out what he was saying.

If the one you grabbed happens to be Green Eggs and Ham, pick another.  GE&H was written as a bet with another author that Geisel could not write a book using 50 words or less.  The Dr. won... and stayed at the tops of the New York Times bestseller list for a number of weeks with it as well.
Then again, there is an opposing view by the very man himself:

"Adults are just obsolete children and the hell with them."
- Dr. Seuss

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