Thursday, August 12, 2010

The Twisted Drama of Green Eggs and Ham, Uncloaked

Above: Song of innocence or song of experience?

In honor of today's 50th anniversary of the publication of Green Eggs and Ham, a relevant re-run:

The Twisted Drama of Green Eggs and Ham, Uncloaked

The Ironic Catholic has made a dramatic and horrifying discovery that must be shared, for the good of toddlerdom. If St. Ignatius could "see Christ all in all things," then a Catholic mom doing Lent (perhaps too well) can see Lent in Dr. Seuss. Brace yourself, and read:

I am Sam
I am Sam
Sam I am

(The narrative opens with a direct reference to YHWH, "I am who am". Sam is symbolically connected to the Ultimate Good using three syllables per three lines, an indirect trinitarian reference. As Sam will be found to be the instigator of temptation, this triplet announces Sam as an anti-Christ figure, and sets up the dark nature of the book. Henceforth, he shall be referred to as Sam/Satan.)

That Sam-I-am!
That Sam-I-am!
I do not like
that Sam-I-am!

(The forthright denial by the adult with no name (hereafter "Nameless Soul") sounds clear, but the meaning remains muddled. Does he dislike YHWH? Or does he dislike the Father of lies? This statement provides an initial sketch of the troubled nature of this Nameless Soul caught in temptation, clearly, a kind of "Everyman".)

Do you like
green eggs and ham?

I do not like them,
I do not like
green eggs and ham.

(Why "green eggs and ham"? Clearly Sam/Satan attempts to offer the unnatural as the good. Nameless Soul, still in a state of grace, immediately states the obvious: who likes the unnatural? What sense does it make to like green eggs and ham? Here, Nameless Soul initially sides for the created order of the universe.)

Would you like them
here or there?

I would not like them
here or there.
I would not like them
I do not like
green eggs and ham.
I do not like them,

(Ah, the classic move of tempters everywhere: ignore the rejection and get the one tempted to consider situational ethics. Not so bad here, or in this situation, right? No account of the objective wrongness of the action itself. Although Nameless Soul refutes bravely, this is clearly a weak chink in his armor. And so the situations are offered like a jackhammer: in a car, in a box, on a fox, in a house, with a mouse.)

You may like them.
You will see.
You may like them
in a tree!

(You can practically hear the serpent hissing on this one. "No, no, eating the fruit will not KILL you. You will just be like God and know all things!" You MAY like them. You're just being obstinate. And the tree reference at this particular juncture--a clear referral to the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil--is pointed.)

I would not, could not in a tree.
Not in a car! You let me be.

(A brave rebuttal, but the end is near. Call upon Christ, Nameless Soul! Stop trying to tangle with Satan on your own! You won't win!)

In the dark?
Here in the dark!
Would you, could you, in the dark?

I would not, could not,
in the dark.

(That "Say!"--like Satan/Sam just thought of this lovely idea, sinning through unnatural acts in the darkness that is the absence of God, would be a great, fun, festive party. Woohoo! ...And is Nameless Soul whimpering by now?)

Could you, would you,
with a goat?

(Beastiality. This is getting ugly.)

You do not like them.
So you say.
Try them! Try them!
And you may.
Try them and you may, I say.

(Alas, the tempter has done all but pull out the brass knuckles: calling into question the Nameless Soul's beliefs--"so you say"--and shouting "try them" three times, like a repeating bazooka.)

If you will let me be,
I will try them.
You will see.


Nameless Soul, don't play the devil's own game and expect to win. Evil only fights and deceives: it doesn't know how to do anything else. If you succumb to temptation, Sam/Satan will only "see" you in the vice grip of cold, hard sin.)

I like green eggs and ham!
I do! I like them, Sam-I-am!
And I would eat them in a boat.
And I would eat them with a goat...


And I will eat them in the rain.
And in the dark. And on a train.
And in a car. And in a tree.
They are so good, so good, you see!

(...Good for the Kingdom of Darkness, dude.)

So I will eat them in a box.
And I will eat them with a fox.
And I will eat them in a house.
And I will eat them with a mouse.
And I will eat them here and there.
Say! I will eat them ANYWHERE!

(As your guardian angel weeps silently.)

I do so like
green eggs and ham!
Thank you!
Thank you,

(The final degradation: he thanks Sam/Satan for introducing him to the unnatural "pleasures" of sin. Green Eggs and Ham is a tragic tale of trial and temptation to untruth.)

Readers, beware. Next: Hop on Pop, a text rife with veiled references to doing violence on God the Father.


6 the midrash:

Teresa said...

Interesting but weird at the same time. Is it really twisted or could you be reading too much into the story "Green Eggs and Ham"? Maybe, the answer lies in a little of both.

The Ironic Catholic said...

see the tag that says "satire"....



Teresa said...

Great satire ;)

soopermexican said...

thank you.. you have opened my eyes to this terrible seduction of the innocent by the adversary!! =)

Allen's Brain said...

Rabbi Allen Bar Rosh says:
"It's obvious that it ought to be resisted! Ham is plainly non-kosher!"

Panda Rosa said...

Ah, but have you heard Jesse Jackson's version of "Green Eggs and Ham"? You haven't lived until you heard "I will not eat them in a box, I will not eat them with a fox!" in those stentorian tones. Puts me in mind of the Hound of Heaven, never giving up.