The 10 Best Hidden Dr. Seuss Political Easter Eggs
Theodor Geisel, aka Dr. Seuss, is one of the most beloved children’s authors, and most people at this point also know about his earlier political cartoon work. But what many folks fail to recognize are the frequent political themes found in his children’s work. According to Seuss himself, he rarely wrote with a particular agenda in mind. In fact, his first book, And To Think That I Saw It On Mulberry Street, was rejected by publishers 27 times because it lacked a moral message.
What Seuss did include in his work was his strong commitment to human rights and values. Understanding this, you can find a lot of the same political beliefs he espoused in his earlier political works in his children’s works. Some are pretty straight forward, while others might seem like a reach. I’ve included my favorite eight so you can judge for yourself.
The Lorax – Environmentalism
After 2012’s major motion picture, The Lorax might be Seuss’ most famous (and obvious) piece of work with a hidden meaning – environmentalism. When the book was released in 1971, the logging industry was NOT happy, and even sponsored a response book called The Truax, which defending logging. The original version also contained the line “I hear things are just as bad up in Lake Erie,” which was removed 14 years later after conditions improved in the area.
7. Horton Hears A Who – NOT Abortion
For years, pro-life groups have tried to use the line “A person’s a person, no matter how small,” in their various campaigns, but this was most likely not Seuss’ intention, seeing as he threatened to sue one group for using it on their letterhead.
6. The Butter Battle Book – The Cold War
This relatively unknown book of Seuss’ was actually pulled from library shelves for years due to its reference to the arms race and the Cold War. The book talks about two groups of people, the Zooks and the Yooks, who do everything differently, such as eating their bread butter-side-up or butter-side-down, and this is a huge problem for them, so they start trying to out do each other by building bigger and better weapons. Because jealously.
5. Yertle The Turtle – Hitler
Yertle the Turtle is about, well, Yertle the Turtle, who is kind of a douche. He’s a greedy king who demands more and more of his fellow turtles, forcing them to stack themselves on top of each other to survey his land, which especially sucks for the bottom turtle Mack. Mack begs Yertle for rest, but Yertle is a dick so that’s a negative, obviously. Yertle, also being kind of dumb, sees the moon and says “Oh HELLLL No” because nothing should be higher than him. Right then, Mack burped and all the other turtles came tumbling down. If you’re still dubious, Seuss actually said that Yertle the Turtle was an allegory about Hitler’s Germany.
4. The Cat In The Hat – Fuck Dick And Jane
Okay, this isn’t especially political, but I’m going to allow it because it’s awesome. Dr. Seuss wrote The Cat in the Hat because he absolutely hated the Dick and Jane primers that were ubiquitous in schools at the time. He found them incredibly boring and knew that kids weren’t going to learn well from something they had no interest in. Hence, The Cat in the Hat. My favorite part is the amount of pride Seuss took in freaking destroying Dick and Jane, literally saying “I have great pride in taking Dick and Jane out of most school libraries,” and “That is my greatest satisfaction.”
3. Marvin K. Mooney Will You Please Go Now! – Nixon?
Folks still speculate that this book was written with disgraced President Richard Nixon in mind, though seeing as it was released only two months after Watergate, this might be unlikely. Also, Seuss never admitted the Nixon connection, but he did acknowledge how similar the stories were, going as far as sending a copy to his buddy at the Washington Post with Nixon’s name in place of Mooney’s.
2. The Sneetches – Racism
In case you don’t remember, The Sneetches is about a group of creatures with stars in their bellies that live with another group without stars. Of course, the star-having creatures think they’re the bee’s knees, whereas the star-less Sneetches are treated as lesser. Basically the star Sneetches are Duck Dynasty before Duck Dynasty was a thing.
1. How The Grinch Stole Christmas – Communism
Apparently there are people who think this book is pro-communism. I’m not sure I agree, but I get the comparison. Let’s see, first we have the greedy Grinch, who hates happiness and wants to hoard everything to himself. Then we have the Whos in Whoville, who only want to live in peace and harmony, and believe true happiness comes from being a part of a larger community where everyone shares. Hmmm…The Lorax also have anti-capitalism themes, so perhaps this isn’t so far-fetched.