Theodor Seuss Geisel, popularly known as Dr. Seuss was an unyielding personality who witnessed World War I & II, the death of his first wife, and never became a biological Father; but all these cruel and unfortunate predicaments never did flutter his zeal to produce entertaining books for children.
Although, he is a great illustrator and cartoonist, Dr. Seuss will forever be remembered for the dedication shown to write children’s favorites with a lot of social meaning and didactic content. The life of Theodor is quite fascinating and the following facts reveal a bit about his unknown side:
A rather unfortunate & disastrous incident during his childhood made Geisel afraid of getting on stage till his death. He was a member of 10 Boy Scouts who were supposed to receive medals from the President Theodore Roosevelt. Geisel stood last and Roosevelt was given only 9 medals, making him think that Geisel was not to be honored and the President left. It was a social humiliation Dr. Seuss could never overcome and public appearances dreaded him.
The right turn
More than 20 publishers rejected Dr. Seuss’ first children’s book titled “And to think that I saw it on Mulberry Street”. He was returning to his apartment to incinerate the book, but fortune favored him as he met his friend & editor McClintock (who became editor the same day) on Madison Avenue. If Geisel had taken another route the world wouldn’t have known such a phenomenal writer and a great personality.
Every writer has a peculiar way to get rid of the writer’s block preventing the pen to move even an inch. Whenever Dr. Seuss felt that his motivational levels were down, he used to enter a secret closet full of hats. He used to wear them till inspiration came back to him and no wonder hats are given prominence in his works. “The 500 Hats of Bartholomew Cubbins” is fairly regarded as his autobiographical piece as the book is studded with descriptions of hats.
Dr. Seuss may appear as a children’s writer, but controversies never left him and critics or politicians always found something wrong in his works. In “The Lorax” there is so much inherent criticism on people about not taking care of environment that environmentalists pounced on him for being so nosy. In fact, in opposition to “The Lorax” Loggers produced a work titled “The Truax” supporting the humanity for cutting down trees. “Yertle the Turtle” enraged certain communities because it was against the rise of power of Hitler. Anti-isolation, racial discrimination, the arms race, etc. were sensitive issues those days and writers chose not to tread in such dangerous realms. However, Dr. Seuss disregarding the controversies wrote to entertain the kids and at the same time shown the defects of the erring adults.
A ban on Ham
Dr. Seuss’ bestselling book “Green Eggs and Ham” was considered to have elements of early Marxism and there was a ban on the book till 1991 (the year of Seuss’ death). Fascinatingly, the book was produced as a reaction to a bet with the terms of the book to be completed with usage of 50 words.
Interestingly, the “good doctor” was never a doctor. To gain some credibility for his works during the college, he added, “doctor” before Seuss and it was also a reaction to his father’s desire to see his son being awarded a doctorate. The man who respected children and inspired imagination for generations lived the life he loved deserve the title “doctor”. His inspiration can be still seen in many cartoons, movies, ads, etc. Dr. Seuss is a perfect example of living the dreams without having to worry about other things much.