How the Grinch Stole Christmas!
by Dr. Seuss
What’s Up With the Ending?
This one's a doozy, folks. Throughout How the Grinch Stole Christmas!, we're led to believe that the Grinch is this horrible, nasty creature who will never change, and that he manages to carry out his equally horrible, nasty plan to destroy Christmas for the Whos.
Though we don't know them personally, the Whos seem like a rather nice group of people and we are pretty positive that the Grinch is going to make them miserable come Christmas Day. For crying out loud, that's what the title says, isn't it?
Ah, but that title is quite misleading. And it turns out that what we have on our hands here, folks, is a classic tale of a nasty no good character being redeemed during the holidays. If you've read or seen a local stage production of A Christmas Carol, you will have undoubtedly thought, "Hmm… I wonder if this Scrooge, I mean, Grinch character really stays nasty and mean throughout the book."
Spoiler Alert: he doesn't.
The ending, wherein the Grinch's heart triples in size and he joins the Whos for Christmas dinner is simply the cherry on top of the tale of the Grinch's redemption:
And what happened then…?
Well… in Who-ville they say
That the Grinch's small heart
Grew three sizes that day!
And the minute his heart didn't feel quite so tight,
He whizzed with his load through the bright morning light
And he brought back the toys! And the food and the feast!
… HE HIMSELF…!
The Grinch carved the roast beast! (170-179)
The story ends as all good stories end: with food.