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A review of Green egs and Ham

Discussion in 'The Lounge' started by cbbr, Nov 2, 2005.

  1. cbbr

    cbbr 1 ton status GMOTM Winner

    Jul 17, 2004
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    High velocity, Low altitude
    Green Eggs and Ham is more than a simple children's tale of the need to try new foods. It is a disturbing glimpse at the Cold War forces that made Eisenhower-era America the stifling society it was, a nightmare for the creative and intellectual classes.
    It begins with an Everyman innocently reading in, we should presume, his own home. A stranger runs past him with a wooden sign announcing that he is Sam. Our protagonist recognizes he is the victim of a home invasion, but like so many restrained Updike males, is unable to voice his objection to his domestic tranquility being shattered, other than to utter a powerless plea that he doesn't care for this Sam character.

    Sam, having taken the upper hand, moves beyond in-your-face picketing (note the clever denegration of peace activists by this introduction) and will now force our hero to eat some offensive looking victuals: meat clearly in the advanced stages of rot, and eggs to match. There is a suggestion that the spineless victim brought this upon himself by hiding from society, engaging in anti-American activity by reading books. The reader is left to ponder whether the victim is a Communist, or at the very least a vegetarian. For this reason, Sam, cleverly named to represent the consensus view of these United States, must prevail.

    The victim's protests are many, his attempts at evasion numerous. Leaving the safety of his home only increases his discomfort; he is forced to endure the company of several possibly rabid mammals, all while Sam keeps shoving the unwanted offal in his face. While he has removed the irrepressible Sam from his house, he must also deal with roller-coaster rides into the water, while getting rained on and being forced to climb a tree; none of these being interests of your typical egghead. As the story moves along, the reader feels less and less sympathy for the victim, blaming his situation on his noncomformity, even if the society of those who wish him to eat rotten animal products are animals themselves.

    The presumptive lesson of this book is that one must conform to social pressure, or even worse things will happen. This fable is an important lesson for today, with so many anti-intellectual messages coming from both government and media. Viewed in its proper context, we see it as a cautionary tale of a hellishly restrictive society that is back with a vengeance.

    You probably think I'm kidding - Look Here.
  2. mikey_d05

    mikey_d05 1 ton status GMOTM Winner

    Nov 23, 2004
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    I couldn't agree more, finally someone has published a well written article on the true intentions of Dr. Suess and Green Eggs and Ham. :bow:

  3. gjk5

    gjk5 3/4 ton status

    Mar 17, 2004
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    Grand Junction, CO
    This reviewer has quite the lexicon; in addition to her paranoia tinged, righteous indignation over the assault on the "intellectual everyman" in the "Green Eggs and Ham" review her Dr. Suess musings include a review of "One Fish Two Fish Red Fish Blue Fish" (review to follow) and "Hop on Pop" (quite funny as well). She does not limot herself to Dr. Suess though, seems she has reviewed every book by both Harry Turtledove (loves him) and Laura Schlessinger (Dr. Laura) who she spends a lot of time denigrating.

    One thing for sure, she sure reads a lot more into the kids books than I did:

    One Fish Two Fish Red Fish Blue Fish (I Can Read It All by Myself Beginner Books) by Dr. Seuss

    25 of 42 people found the following review helpful:

    Prescient political pondering of our polarized prolatariat, June 28, 2004
    Just as Seuss covered anti-intellectualism in Green Eggs and Ham, and alternate lifestyles in Hop on Pop, the Fish book is a trenchant political analysis. Foreseeing the red vs. blue state deadlock back in the idealistic better-living-through-chemistry early 1960s, Suess contrasts the red (as in communist) fish with the all-American blue fish. This motif weaves through the book, teaching little ones the red vs. blue tension of multiculturalism (in the form of strange animals) and isolationism of Ned in his too-small bed. While most younger children will miss the allusion to Procrustes, they may remember the literary echo in Hop on Pop: Ned joins Red, Ted, and Ed in a more appropriately sized bed, and Seuss shows his support for the UN, or at least the International Monetary Fund.
    The tension is palpable when the young boy and girl bring home a large, walrus-like pet and wonder how their mother will feel about their deed; no preschooler could miss this reference to the Teapot Dome scandal. Similarly, their advice to get a pet Yink simply because of its fondness for pale red india writing product is a sardonic commentary on rampant consumerism. And the camel-like Wump shows his prophetic realization that our demand for oil would force us to deal with the Saudis on a regular basis.
    Seuss warns us of the coming divide in these United States in the introduction: "From there to here, from here to there, funny things are everywhere." It starts with the fish, red, blue, and black (but not white, showing where Geisel's sympathies lie), young and old, then proceeds up the evolutionary chain to large land mammals, eventually including the aforementioned school-aged boy and girl. They serve as the Adam and Eve as well as the Joe and Joan Sixpak of the book. They espouse embracing what is different while they reinforce doing the same.

    Seuss knew where we were headed in both 2000 and 2004, and this book shows the way out. The US has plenty of (pale) red ink, so we should get a Yink. I think.

    :haha: Ahh, the insight.

    Here's another good on you all should remember, "The Giving Tree" by Shel Silverstein:

    I remember when I first read "The Giving Tree" and it always disturbed me greatly. A tree, depicted as a female, gives a little boy a place to play, fruit to eat, shade to enjoy. Then the boy grows older and takes away everything the tree owns; he sells the fruit, cuts down her branches, and finally chops down her trunk so he can sail away from her. And the tree continues to love the boy, and the tree was still happy.
    Do you remember the first time you realized that there wasn't any Tooth Fairy or Santa Claus? That's how I felt when I saw that poor, pathetic drawing of a stump, with the text "And the tree was happy." If that is the point of the story, that the tree was deluding herself about the boy, then why does she accept him when he returns 50 years later, a worn-out husk himself? The boy not only took everything away from the tree, he goes on to create a family that abandons him in turn, no doubt because he was such a selfish pig. And THAT is the tree's payoff for her unconditional love?

    It seems the message the book gives little girls is that the way they can find happiness is by giving everything, absolutely everything, of themselves to little boys. And all they will get in return is that maybe, possibly, these boys might return to them in the end, as tired old men.

    What a bitter bitch, wonder if she was ever divorced.

    Alright, I've wasted sufficient time on this Streisand lovin' man hatin' jewel of the Democratic party.
  4. Skigirl

    Skigirl 1/2 ton status

    Apr 2, 2001
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    Los Angeles, California
    Ahhh, finally a thread I can understand. I can read it in my chair. I can read it anywhere. I do love to understand, I do love it Sam I am. :D

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