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Horton Hears a Who!
Horton Hears a Who!
by Dr. Seuss

The Wickersham Brothers and the Kangaroos

Character Analysis

Man, those Wickershams and very unfriendly kangaroos are just plain nasty. Plus, they seem to be freaking out about nothing—we mean, who cares if Horton's talking to a clover?

With the political implications of the book swirling around us, we're bound to see these jungle animals as the kind of folks who support a culture of fear. You know, the ones who see someone who's not like them and assume the worst. So how do we interpret them within the context of the two possible historical allegories for Horton?:

  • Within the Cold War allegory, they represent those Americans who were totally a-okay with going all McCarthy on their neighbors.
  • In the World War II scenario, the jungle animals are those Americans who were totally a-okay with putting Japanese-Americans in internment camps. Why? Because they're different. Duh.

The reason these mean ol' animals are upset about Horton's clover is that he's talking to something that they can't see, and they claim that disturbs the "peace" of the jungle for them. But in the end, they're proven wrong. Moral, much?

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