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Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Who?


There's something I need to know. Are the Whos in How the Grinch Stole Christmas the same as the Whos in Horton Hears a Who? That is, are they microscopic? If so then the Grinch would likewise be teeny-weeny, wouldn't he? Doesn't that somewhat diminish him as a threat, and make the whole story less compelling? I'm sure this has been discussed and settled somewhere on the web and I'm the last to know.

7 comments:

markheath said...

I think they are the same Whos, and that the Grinch is less of a menace to the readers/viewers than the Whos in Whoville. And not being a Who, I've always felt safely removed from his reach.

(a thought: when the Grinch gives Cindy Lou Who a cup of water before sending her back to bed, was that a peek at his true heart, the first sign that he wanted to escape his public persona? Early on in A Christmas Carol, Scrooge explains away a tear as a pimple. Perhaps that solicitous cup of water was, like the tear, a glimpse of his future self.)

richardcthompson said...

So the Whos are just very alert bacteria? And the Grinch, too? I mean, yeah, I choked up at the end where he carves the roast beast and all. But, still...

You could be right about that cup of water. If he was really as rotten as his theme song describes him, he'd just stuff Cindy Lou in the sack with everything else. I think he was more cranky than anything; probably the proximity of all those ever-cheerful pantooflering Who bacteria people did it to him. And was Grinch his title or his species?

Stacy Curtis said...

Grinch was his species, Dick Cheney was his title.

He probably gave Cindy Lou a glass of water, hoping she'd whiz the bed in the middle of the night.

richardcthompson said...

Ha, shoulda known Cheney was mixed up in this.

My daughter showed me a cartoon that had his (the Grinch's, not Cheney's) enlarged heart blamed on all the roast beast he eats. I'm embarrassed to say I don't remember who drew it.

Josh said...

Actually in the book version of the story, it states that Cindy Lou got out of bed specifically for a glass of water. The Grinch gave her the water just to get her out of the way so he could resume his nasty meanness.

markheath said...

In the book, does an ornament roll into Cindy Lou's bedroom? Or was that just a cinematic transition from the Grinch to the girl? I wrote a long post at my blog on the inherent sweetness of the Grinch, based on the cartoon.

I like the idea that the Grinch had a larger heart all along. I think I'll ignore the source text and treat the cartoon as the true story. This critical trick is done all the time with A Christmas Carol. There have been so many versions that the films have a truth of their own. In some movies Scrooge softens quickly. In others he's hard as flint to the penultimate moment. In others he's not a miser, just a lonely guy. Still others show him as mercenary, in love with business, a rich man (though according to the book, how rich could Scrooge be; he only has one employee.)

markheath said...

I have a large collection of Christmas Carols by different illustrators. One of my favorites is the Ronald Searle edition. I'd love to see a Richard Thompson edition. I hope you don't mind the suggestion, because I'll be making it every year until it happens.