”Horton Hears a Who!” metaphors
Seuss’ classic tale of big helping small must be a metaphor. For what?
THE CITIZENS OF JAPAN?
Seuss wrote Horton after visiting postwar Japan in 1953 and admitted that Who-ville was partially modeled on the country, which had just emerged from U.S. occupation at the time. The book’s dedication, “For My Great Friend, Mitsugi Nakamura,” refers to a professor he met on the trip.
Seuss’ refrain about the tiny residents of Who-ville — “A person’s a person, no matter how small” — has been adopted as a slogan by various pro-life advocates over the years. Apparently, the late author wasn’t happy about it: He threatened legal action against one such group.
VICTIMS OF THE BLACKLIST?
The McCarthy hearings were at their height during the writing of Horton, leading some critics to draw parallels between the embattled Whos and those Americans vilified by Senator Joseph McCarthy for allegedly supporting Communism.