Oh, the Places You'll Go!
by Dr. Seuss
Oh, the Places You'll Go! Setting
Where It All Goes Down
The Landscape of Life
No, really. We know that sounds all touchy feely and ooey-gooey, but that's what the setting really is. This is really the Landscape of Life, populated with your child's experiences and emotions from the moment they leave the nest on. Trippy, right?
The story begins in a very neat, ordered place, where the houses are of a decent size, every lot has at least one tree and the streets are easy to navigate. When there are threats, they're known and easy to avoid. The suburbs represent the life you've worked so hard to give your child, and the life they must leave if they ever want to make their own.
As discussed in the symbols section, wide open spaces represent both possibility and danger. There are times when the open spaces are gentle and welcoming, and others when they are full of threats. Either way, this is a setting through which your child must navigate if they're ever going to discover who they are and what home means to them.
Your kid sure gets to travel to some wondrous places! If the kid wasn't yours, it'd be enough to make you feel jealous. The setting for these wondrous places varies from a candy striped bumblebeeish cavernous hall (8) to a colorful quilted landscape (10) to a place where "Boom Bands" play (21) to a place where mountains are apparently cheap on foreclosure (31).
When your child is there, we can feel the excitement and joy. The world feels like a kind and generous place. They're still small, but they look like they could give anything that comes their way a run for its money.
Slumpy, Waiting, and Threatening places
The slumpy (14, 15), waiting (18, 19) and threatening places (17, 26, 27) are where the setting screams, "There's no one to help you and plenty of people to trip you up… so have fun with that!" Here, your child looks intimidated, scared and dwarfed by their surroundings. Yikes.
Can Do Places
Finally, there are can do places, where your child will fly high (9), kick a ball (23), and ultimately, move mountains (31). In can do places, your child is as busy as can be, getting things done and feeling competent.