Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Dr. Seuss' Grinch Who Stole Christmas ....Tie #2

This was Thursday's tie. Name the three most important characters from "the Grinch." Well, there''s the Grinch, Cindy Lou Who, and ... and.... ah, the dog. The dog's name is Max. What a great character! He doesn't say a word, but is observed throughout with his telling expressions and mannerisms. He associates with the Grinch, but in his heart he sees the good of something obviously malevolent.

I recently read an article posted on Yahoo about the fact that our movies and popular culture were "graying" the line between what is bad and good. More specifically, who is the bad guy and who is just a good hearted character that's made some bad decisions leading up to the story at hand. Think Despicable Me. (Spoiler Alert!) The bad guy at the beginning takes in three orphans to use for his evil deeds, only to decide that he must go legit for the sake of his new family. (Is there a need for a Godfather reference here?) Same with the Grinch. His heart grew magically with his understanding of the Spirit of Christmas. I myself, will forgive him. He just needs some kind-hearted guidance... and a hug. That attitude aligns with the Spirit of Christmas and with my interpretation of what Mr. Geisel had in mind.

So, can kids tell the difference between who is the bad guy and who is not? I think it is all in the spirit of the issue at hand. My son, Joshua is about as evil as they come in the eyes of his sister when he throws her stuffed (previously I had left out the word "stuffed" -that would be evil) cat across the room. But Alea writes a note about how much she loves him half an hour later. We encourage and foster this emotional flip-flop noting that just because a person does some bad things doesn't make them a bad person. Perhaps we should focus more on the consequences of those individual actions. That's where the stories and movies should take the criticism. What was the consequence the Grinch had to endure for breaking and entering, larceny, theft, public endangerment, and an attack on a community's religious beliefs? He was made a hero and got to carve the roast beast. Same thing in Despicable Me, and A Christmas Carol for that matter.

... and then of course, there's the fact that these are both just stories created for the entertainment of children. Over- analysis not needed.
I still think that The Grinch who Stole Christmas is one of the greatest Christmas stories of all time. A Christmas Story (Ralphie) is the best, hands down.


  1. This blog and your last one were great honey!! I think when you are all finished you need to have these bound into a coffee-table book!!! **smile**

  2. Not over-analysis; just the right amount. I applaud you for thinking about the media that your children take in and how it will affect their maturing sense of right and wrong. And there's certainly nothing wrong with talking with your children and helping them to form the critical analysis skills on their own. Enjoyed your critiques.

  3. Kristi, we'll have to get a real coffee table for that, but thanks for the encouragement.
    Eric, Thanks for the comment. It seems we have to "regulate" the TV and entertainment more and more. I thought I had some liberal tendencies, but I suppose that is what comes of being a parent.


Please feel free to comment. I appreciate additions to my stories, questions, and criticisms.