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Horton Hatches the Egg

Horton Hatches the Egg


by Dr. Seuss

Horton Hatches the Egg Meaning

What is this book really about?

Family Ties

Speaking of the 1940s, things were a little different in family land back in the day. Americans had pretty restrictive views on what it means to be a fit parent, what a "proper" family looks like, and what makes for a "legitimate" child.

Horton is a single, male elephant, and it looks like he'll be raising a child born out of wedlock—of hybrid species, no less. Is Seuss arguing that those restrictive attitudes need to be relaxed to meet the needs of all children and parents? Or is he challenging the idea that women make better parents than men? Or maybe he's asking readers to empathize with the condition of human pregnancy? After all, hatchin' ain't easy…

Either way, a hybrid baby without a mom sure wasn't the norm in 1940. But then again, nothing about Seuss is the norm.

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