Psychoanalysis of How the Grinch Stole Christmas

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Luke Enfinger
Reges
Dual Enrollment English
8 November 2012
“How the Grinch Stole Christmas”
Psychoanalysis by definition, “is a psychological and psycho therapeutic theory conceived in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries by Austrian neurologist Sigmund Freud (McLeod 1). According to Freud, psychoanalysis deals with the concepts of death, sex, and violence. In dealing with psychoanalysis, he determines that there are three parts of the unconscious mind, the ego, the superego, and the id. In Dr. Seuss' “How the Grinch Stole Christmas,” a bitter, cave dwelling creature with a heart “two sizes too small,” (Seuss) lives on the top of a snowy mountain on the outskirts of Whoville. His only friend is his dog Max. From his perch high atop Mount Crumpit, the Grinch can hear the noisy Christmas festivities that take place in Whoville. Annoyed and unable to understand the Whos' happiness, he makes plans to descend on the town and deprive them of their Christmas presents, Roast Beast, Who-hash and decorations and thus prevent Christmas from coming. However, he learns in the end that despite his success in taking away all the Christmas presents and decorations from the Whos, Christmas comes just the same. He then realizes that Christmas is more than just gifts and presents. Touched by this, his heart grows three sizes larger; he returns all the presents and trimmings and is warmly welcomed into the community of the Whos. Throughout the children's story, there are numerous examples of Freud's psychoanalytic theory. The different examples of psychoanalysis that appear in the children's story include death instincts, projection, an oral aggressive (sadistic) personality, and the id. In Dr. Seuss' “How the Grinch Stole Christmas,” the Grinch demonstrates a drive toward aggression and destruction. His desire was to destroy the Whos and their love of Christmas; perhaps indicative of an unconscious desire for his own death, but turned against the Whos....
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