Students react to removal of Dr. Seuss books

Sophomore Kennedy Becthold’s love for romance novels and realistic fiction originated from reading Dr. Seuss’ books as a child. She said she specifically remembers reading Green Eggs and Ham over and over when she was younger. “I think at the time they were just nursery rhymes, like childhood books, but growing up there are hidden meanings behind them,” Becthold said. 

However, the recent acknowledgment of Seuss’ offensive hidden meanings displayed in his work has ignited a new case of “Cancel Culture” in the media. Becthold said she strongly agrees with Seuss’ estate removing said books from bookstores. “If you intentionally write a book like that, then I don’t think it should be out in public,” she said. 

This highly controversial topic has changed the way Becthold views Seuss’ other stories. She said she can’t support anyone who can write several books with racial discrimination present in the text. “If he can show racism in one book, what are the actual meanings behind his other stories? Especially if the books are aimed at children,” Becthold said. 

On the other hand, she said it was a different time period and his work may have been more socially accepted than how it is now. “For the longest time, he was a well-respected author and I don’t think that will change,” Becthold said.

English teacher Danae Dieken said that she found it interesting that Seuss’ own family and estate were responsible for pulling his books from bookstores. Dieken said National Books Day might change from the majority being Dr. Seuss books to a more diverse selection of stories. “I think it will broaden the scope of what books are encouraged to read on that day,” Dieken said.

Dieken said she doesn’t believe that his intention was to make the images racist, but more of examples of allegories. “I think we can see him for his time as a really progrssive voice and someone who made a way for parents to reclaim morals by teaching them to their children and to simplify those issues to a child’s level. I think shows his care as an author,” she said. 

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