The Grinch Did Nothing Wrong

Photo illustration made with art from Lisa Zins and used with permissions under Creative Commons Licensing

By Connor Peper, North Star Reporter

The classic Christmas villain is The Grinch from Dr. Seuss’s 1957 classic children’s book and TV special, How the Grinch Stole Christmas; however, was he ever a villain at all? The Grinch is a regular guy who was driven to ruining Christmas by terrible neighbors.

At the beginning of the special, the Grinch is revealed to be a hermit. He lives by himself with only his pet dog to comfort him. His home leaves more to be desired, being in a cave and all. The Grinch lives a life that no one would want to live, so if the Grinch is a hermit, why try to steal Christmas? The cartoon makes it seem like a complete mystery, theorizing that it might be, as the narrator says,

“That his shoes were too tight. It could be his head wasn’t screwed on just right. But I think that the most likely reason of all… may have been that his heart was two sizes too small.”

The narrator makes it clear that the Grinch’s problem with Christmas is just his problem. It’s his shoes, it’s his mental disorder, it’s his, presumably very serious, heart condition. What the narrator seems to gloss over, is that the Grinch tells the audience outright what his problem is!

“They’ll rush for their toys. And then- Oh, the noise. Oh, the noise.” The Grinch explains, “Noise, noise, noise. There’s one thing I hate. All the noise. Noise, noise, noise. And they’ll shriek squeaks and squeals, racing round on their wheels…”

The Grinch’s problem isn’t his shoes. The Grinch’s problem is that his neighbors have absolutely no consideration for other people. The Whos in Whoville make so much noise that even the hermit that lives in a cave on a mountain can hear them. That’s way too loud. This wasn’t a one time occurrence either. The Grinch has been dealing with this problem his entire life,

“I must stop this whole thing. Why, for 53 years, I’ve put up with it now…”

53 years! Instead of shaming the Grinch for trying to ruin Christmas, we should be applauding him for being able to keep his patience for that long. Maybe the reason the Grinch’s heart is “Two sizes too small” is because his neighbors have harassed him for half a century? When did wanting respectful neighbors become such a bad thing?

The Grinch is mad at his neighbors for generating so much noise the surrounding mountains can hear it, and what do the Whos do? They write a song about him, and it’s a pretty hurtful song too which includes lyrics such as,

“Your heart is full of unwashed socks, your soul is full of gunk, Mr. Grinch, The three words that best describe you are as follows, and I quote, “Stink, stank, stunk”!”

Ouch. The Whos are straight bullying the Grinch. Now, I don’t know if the Whos wrote the song, but whoever is narrating the Grinch’s story clearly doesn’t like him either.

The Grinch is in an unfortunate situation. He lives in a cave, so he probably doesn’t have enough money to move away. I don’t think he has a job, and his neighbors not only annoy him constantly but sing negative songs about him. That’s awful. The Grinch was in the right to steal Christmas. The Whos straight up don’t deserve a Christmas. Why can’t the Grinch experience just a little bit of relief after 50 years of torture?