Friday, 5 April 2013

Human Behaviour and "The Cat In The Hat"



I love these books. I have been reading them to my daughters on-and-off for the past few nights; my wife picked some of them up from the school fair the other day. My daughters love them also - it is one of the only ways currently, that I can get them to stop their (admittedly, delightful) chatterbox-ing!

What I find fascinating about the books is how they are, seemingly, a metaphorical study of human behaviour - or, of my own behaviour, at least!

The Cat In The Hat and his cohorts ("Thing 1", "Thing 2", etc) represent a preposterous and apparently overwhelming challenge, introduced into the lives of Nick, Sally and The Fish, who are otherwise working hard and/or bored. The Cat in The Hat is the proverbial "spanner in the works" - that we so often find has been thrown into our otherwise apparently peaceful (mundane?) existence. Sometimes, we seem to introduce The Cat In The Hat ourselves, sometimes he seems to be introduced by others - or by nature. In keeping with "real life", there is even a touch of danger and mystery in the books - like the imminent threat of Mother arriving home to a stupendous mess, and the way that you never actually see Mother's face.

 


The Cat In The Hat is like our reckless happy-go-lucky side, The Fish is our cautious dutiful side, Mother represents our responsibilities and Nick and Sally are you and me.

Currently, I am wrangling what seems to me to be a huge "Cat In The Hat" (one I have invited into my world all by myself in-fact!), which I guess is why I've taken a shine to these books all of a sudden. After having read them many times in the past, I'm seeing the logic with fresh eyes!

At the end of the day though, our "Cat In The Hat" is an opportunity for us to learn - for kids, literally; for adults, metaphorically. If we are not sometimes faced with - and addressing - preposterous challenges, what motivation is there for us to see/do things differently? As much as I don't like to rattle off "inspirational" quotes, there is one that comes to mind...

"Stay Hungry. Stay Foolish." (by...go on, you know who!)

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The Cat In The Hat character profiles: http://www.pbs.org/teachers/catinthehat/characters/


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