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Analysis of Where the Wild Things Are

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Analysis of Where the Wild Things Are

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  • May 2012
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Where the Wild Things Are, a children’s book written by Maurice Sendak, is not only directed to young children, but has an underlying message that is intended for older generations to receive. This message, only used to enhance the meaning of the story, describes the addiction for one to have power and be in control. As the story goes on, the realization sets in that maybe the desire for power is not the best, at all times. The use of oppression becomes evident in this story, through Max, the main character, as he strives to control everything around him. Maurice Sendak uses repetition and parallelism in the imagery and text of Where the Wild Things Are to show Max’s progression to assume power and eventually discard it.

In the very first pages of the story, Max’s desire for power is rather distinct. His actions and words show his longing to be a leader. What Max fails to realize is that his actions cause him to become distant from the real world, and ultimately, Max abuses his power and resorts to oppression. Max’s harsh misbehavior is evidence that he wants to be in charge. Max’s behavior first changes when he puts on his wolf suit and starts acting as a fearless leader. The tall, pointy ears of the wolf suit act as Max’s crown. He chases his dog around the house, trying to be his king. As these things are happening, Max also carries a fork, acting as his scepter for the ability to control his subjects. Like all great rulers that have an elaborate place of residence to reside in, Max uses his creativity and nails a blanket to the wall, creating a tent for himself. His mother, trying to keep her young child under control, sends her son to his room without dinner for yelling at her and acting out, simply trying to teach him a lesson. Little does Max’s mother know, that when she sends Max to his room, she is putting a stop to Max’s wild imagination, causing him to desire power, even more. Not only does Max’s behavior develop as the story goes on, but the...