Over the past two weeks I’ve read Theodore Geisel, Ph.D.’s “Green Eggs and Ham” about 500 times, and in that time, I’ve come to realize something: it’s a pretty bizarrely dark book.
Stay with me here.
Let’s start with the premise that our feisty little green eggs and ham advocate appears to have multiple personalities. In the first two pages of the book, he is not the well-known ‘Sam-I-Am’ that we have all come to know. Oh no. He is ‘I-Am-Sam’ at the very beginning. Not only that, but as ‘I-Am-Sam’ he rides a dog. Moments later he comes back in as ‘Sam-I-Am’ riding some type of giant cat. Who keeps a trained dog and cat that let you ride them just laying around?
So then we find out that the unnamed protagonist does not like that Sam-I-Am.
Why? What did old Sam do to him to make him hate him so much? My theory? Sam-I-Am is keeping him as a captive, and offering the green eggs and ham is the last straw. He decides to escape from his captor, so he just walks off. Somehow, everywhere he goes, there’s Sam-I-Am.
In a house, with a mouse.
In a box hanging from a tree, with a fox. How did he got the fox up there?!
And just when he thinks he’s done, there’s Sam picking him up in a car that has custom seats for the mouse and the fox. So, seriously. He has trained a mouse and a fox to sit in a car with him. That doesn’t strike anyone as odd behavior?
So, continuing on, Sam, who appears to be a madly dangerous driver, drives off of a tree and onto a train, where NOT A SINGLE PERSON ON THE TRAIN NOTICES THAT A CAR HAS LANDED ON THEM.
Of course, this continues on, until Sam-I-Am decides to see if our protagonist would eat green eggs and ham with a goat. Who happens to be in a hidden compartment in the car. Which also means that the goat has been stuffed in this little compartment for who knows how long.
Now for the next problem. The train conductor drives the train off of an incomplete bridge and onto a boat. Without seeming to notice.
Once all of the people and animals are safely in the ocean, waiting to see if the protagonist will like green eggs and ham or not, we reach the most odd moment of the book. This is where, after everything that Sam-I-Am has done, from accosting him with animals, hitting him with his car, and crashing him into the ocean, our protagonist gets a bad case of Stockholm Syndrome. Instead of saying “sure, I like green eggs and ham, but leave me alone from now on, you creep,” our protagonist goes off with Sam-I-Am, presumably to be his willing captive again.
Or am I reading into this too much?