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Dr. Seuss Essay

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Introduction

Kaley Copeland Berg Seeley English 104 Final Essay 3 March 16, 2007 Dr. Seuss: Man of Religious and Political Controversy Dr. Seuss was known as the "Modern Day Mother Goose" and known for his popularity and success of writing children's stories (Morgan and Morgan 5). He was also known for his creative drawings and unique imagination (Cohen 21). He wrote children's stories that became instant successes. Three of which that became extremely successful and popular were How the Grinch Stole Christmas, Green Eggs and Ham, and The Lorax. However, with all the success of these books, there came a downfall. As many parents and adults across the nation read these stories, they began to notice many religious and political messages featured in these children's books (Morgan and Morgan 67). Seuss had no intention of having messages featured in his stories and became upset that it became such a controversy over misunderstandings (Morgan and Morgan 67). These misinterpreted religious and political messages instantly triggered controversy in the household and at schools that sparked and created debates that still continue today (Morgan and Morgan 68). Dr. Seuss wrote and published How the Grinch Stole Christmas in 1957. This story featured the cold-hearted Grinch that wanted to ruin Christmas for the people of Whoville. But in the end, he has a change of heart and celebrates Christmas with the Whos (Cohen 329). ...read more.

Middle

The second story that has gone through some controversy was Green Eggs and Ham. However, this book did not feature any type of political message but only a religious one. This book was published in 1960 and tells the story a character named Sam I Am and his friend, who is never named. Sam I Am is eating green eggs and ham and is trying to convince his friend to also do so but fails throughout the book until the end (Morgan and Morgan 171). Controversy sparked after the repetitious phrase "Sam I Am, I am Sam" was repeated several times throughout the story (Morgan and Morgan 171). Some biblical scholars have suggested that Sam I Am represents Sam from the Hebrew prophecy (Nel 65). This would stir such controversy because it is against the Mosaic Law to consume ham or meat of any kind (Nel 66). Another skeptical religious message featured was a possible alternate Messiah (Morgan and Morgan 172). It has been said that in "the Old Testament Jahova refers himself as "I am" to Moses. This being said, [Seuss] might be proposing the fact of an alternate Messiah named 'Sam I Am'" (Morgan and Morgan 172). Thus having these religious messages featured in this story causes Seuss to have the persona of being "anti-Semitic" once again (Morgan and Morgan 173). ...read more.

Conclusion

He wanted to teach children the harms and dangers that some household products can do to the environment (Nel 60). He also wanted to show them how to become a good person by sharing and being able to think of others before being "greedy" and just thinking of yourself (Nel 60). Seuss' intentions for these stories he wrote were positive but became misinterpreted by the public and by parents. The public created an image that made Seuss to look like an anti-Semitic Communist which is not what he was at all (Cohen 79). These controversies that came from these stories put Seuss in a bad light and brought upon a persona that he did not want to have. How the Grinch Stole Christmas, Green Eggs and Ham, and The Lorax are well written books that were loved by children and still loved by them today (Morgan and Morgan 64). Since Seuss became so popular, this made him be apart of the constant public spotlight. Being in this spotlight comes along with all the opinions about his works from the public, and them trying to start controversy that will get the media and the nation into a frenzy (Nel 50). But Seuss knew that he did not need to prove himself to the public. He was able to ignore the false criticism and continued to write and create more unique and imaginative stories that were loved by children across the nation (Cohen 67). ...read more.

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