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Green Eggs and Ham

Green Eggs and Ham


by Dr. Seuss

Home Dr Seuss Green Eggs and Ham Analysis Symbolism, Imagery, Allegory

Green Eggs and Ham

Symbolism, Imagery, Allegory

Fact: Green Eggs and Ham is most people's favorite Seuss book. We, as a human race, take this story personally. And we're pretty sure that part of its extreme appeal is the symbolic power of green eggs and ham. Bear with us.

Go Crazy… but Not Too Crazy

Condition A: Something looks yucky.
Condition B: Turns out it's yummy.

Conclusion: It's green eggs and ham.

Sounds familiar? We're thinking sushi, chocolate-covered jelly beans, and avocado ice cream. They're all just green eggs and ham in disguise.

The moral of the story? Try new things. Not just in eating—but in life. After all, trying new things means learning new things.

But being adventurous isn't without risk. Yes, the big guy ultimately decides to try the green eggs and ham. But young readers should know that deciding not to try something new won't necessarily make them boring and stodgy. Especially if it involves cliff diving. Deciding what to try, especially when there is intense Sam-style peer pressure involved, is a consistent challenge.

White Eggs and Pink Ham

Wait a second. The big guy never says what he has against green eggs and ham. We humans know what color ham and eggs are supposed to be outside of Seussville, so it's easy to assume the color of the food is the problem. That might make us think that these kooky foods are a symbol of irrational fears based on skin color or ethnicity. And you know what? We think Dr. Seuss would totally approve of this interpretation. Join us in "Meaning" and we'll tell you why.

Stop Hamming Me, Sam

In the 21st century, we are hyper-aware of bullying and peer pressure. We teach our children to be wary of anybody who acts like Sam. And we're all for that.

But let's take a look at the half-full glass. Sam and the big guy couldn't be more different: Sam likes eating green eggs and ham in crazy places, and the big guy likes reading the paper by himself. By convincing the big guy to share in and enjoy Sam's culture, Sam gains an unlikely friend.

Now maybe the big guy can help Sam learn to enjoy reading the paper.

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