Monday, January 28, 2013

As a kid, I loved to read, and I am enjoying sharing that with McBaby. I am starting to realize though, that many of the books I loved as a child now give me the SUPER-CREEPS. Thus, I present:

Here is how my perception of the characters has changed:

His size is what first struck me when I read this story as an adult. Dr. Seuss features cat-sized cats that walk on four legs in some of his stories. This cat could easily have been cat or even child-sized, but he is not he is human-adult-sized. This makes him more powerful than the children. It also makes him super scary: A. GIANT. BI-PEDAL. CAT. Also he is wearing a hat, gloves, and a tie but no pants...what the heck?

 The cat does whatever he wants, regardless of what the fish says. The fish constantly says that the cat "should not be here when your mother is not." It is clear that the cat would not behave this way if their  mother were there to protect them. He makes a huge mess. I do no even want to think about what "Thing 1" and "Thing 2" could be euphemisms for. Then, creepiest of all, he gets rid of all the evidence and escapes before their mother can see him.

The end is the most intriguing part to me. I do not think Dr. Seuss was trying to hide a disturbing story in a children's book. This book is for kids who are too young to read to themselves, so it would make sense that he would know that parents would be reading this to them. In the end, their mother comes home and asks what happened while she was gone. The last line of the book provides parents with a chance to indirectly ask, "Would you tell me if an adult did something to make you uncomfortable when I was gone?"

It is also a good opportunity to look at listening to your conscience, and summoning the courage to act on it. The fish objects constantly throughout the book, but it is not until the main character takes action, and demands that the cat leave, that the madness stops.

And that, my friends, is how you write an English paper that your professor will love.

Seriously though, yikes.

1 comment:

Steffy said...

I just read this book to some kids I was babysitting and thought the exact same thing! Why would this mom leave these young kids home alone, only supervised by a FISH? I'm glad I'm not the only one.