Marvin K. Mooney Will You Please Go Now!
by Dr. Seuss
Marvin K. Mooney Will You Please Go Now! Meaning
What is this book really about?
Marvin K. Mooney Will You Please Go Now! is minimalist in everything but the title. The lines are short and simple, the words hardly rock more than one syllable, and the narrative circles the same concept of "Go Now" rather than introducing new elements as it progresses.
At first glance, this may seem to limit what the book is really about. But we at Shmoop feel first glances mislead too often. The more minimal approach actually intensifies the potential of this silly, little poem. It gives the book a kind of Mad Lib quality, where the reader is required to add a few of their own ideas to come with something. As with any Mad Lib, the only limit is how many people read the book.
Here are a few examples we came up with. See anything you like?
(1) As we mention in our "Why I Should Care?" section, Marvin K. Mooney could represent Richard M. Nixon. Seuss was a political guy. When he felt something was wrong in America, he spoke out against it in his writing, and he was no fan of our 37th President.
Seuss seemed to have been a communist sympathizer, whereas Nixon built his political career on an anti-communist platform. Seuss thought Nixon should resign from office post-Watergate, and it's definitely possible to read Marvin K. Mooney Will You Please Go Now! as Seuss's coded way of kindly (?) asking the President to step down. Marvin K.'s stubborn refusal could symbolize Nixon's response to such requests—that is until August 8, 1974 when Nixon finally did resign.
But if Marvin K. Mooney is Richard K. Nixon, then who is the Narrator? There are several possibilities: the American people during the early seventies, Marvin's father, or even Seuss himself. If you want to explore the Narrator's role in the poem, check out our "Character" section for more. Marvin K. resides there, too, so it's kind of like one-stop analytic shopping.
P.S. Nixon was way back in '74. Could we give Marvin a bit of a contemporary makeover? The president's tenure in office? A particular congressman? Donald Trump's attempt to do anything political ever? Moving abroad, maybe the Kim Il-sung dynasty? Countries retaining monarchs?
(2) Knowing when it's time to leave in general. The question here is, who is right in the matter? Is Marvin being stubborn or is the Narrator being impatient? Both?
(3) The joys of imagination. Even the most mundane of tasks, such as going somewhere, can be spruced up with a little creative energy and an elephant.
(4) Language acquisition. The repetition of simple words gives children a lot of time to familiarize themselves with them. As a bonus, the words are used in a variety of language functions. For example, the word go acts as a verb, a gerund, and an entire imperative sentence. Consider yourself grammared.
(5) A lesson against stubbornness. This option kind of links to the political one above, but with a more child-friendly vibe. Mooney stubbornly refuses to move. He just doesn't want to. But look at all the fun he's having with those inventive modes of transportation! If he weren't being so stubborn, maybe he could have a good time doing those things and not being yelled at.
And that's just a few of the ideas we've heard thrown around. See if you can come up with some more. As we said, the possibilities depend on you and you alone.