It’s the most wonderful time of the year! The Christmas tree is up, the menorah is lit and the bells are ring ting tingling too! It is lovely weather to discuss another villain! Keeping in pace with the holiday season I decided to choose a villain that is filled with the holiday spirit. Well, at least in the end he is. It’s time to visit the top of Mt. Krumpet and stop in on our friend, the Grinch!
Children were first introduced to the Grinch in The Grinch Who Stole Christmas by Dr. Seuss in 1957, a story about a strange furry green creature who hates Christmas. The Grinch lives on the top of Mt. Krumpet that overlooks the town of Whoville, a magical place where all the Who’s love to celebrate all holidays, but most of all they love Christmas. Every year the Who’s of Whoville would get together and open crazy presents with crazy Sues names to match, they would sit down at the Who feast and eat the rare roast beast, and then they would gather around the town Christmas tree and sing that famous song that everyone thinks they know the words to, but they really don’t. Anyway, the Grinch for some reason that is not revealed in the book, hates Christmas, the whole thing. The presents, feast and singing just makes him sick and he had had enough. The Grinch decides to put this whole Christmas thing on its ear and dresses up as Santa Claus and with his dog Max as a reindeer they descend upon Whoville on Christmas Eve after the real Santa shows up and steals all of the presents and thinks that he has essentially stolen Christmas. Well the Grinch is surprised when instead of crying “boo-hoo” they actually still come out and sing their Christmas song and they are still filled with the Christmas spirit. It is in this moment that the Grinch realizes that the meaning of Christmas isn’t found in a box but in your heart and then his grows three sizes and breaks that weird heart measurement device. The Grinch returns the gifts and even joins in on the festivities, the Grinch is the one who ends up cutting the rare roast beast. Everyone is happy and Christmas-y.
The Grinch has become a Christmas staple, between the animated special that debuted in 1966 and the live action film featuring Jim Carrey portraying the famous figure in 2000 the Grinch has become a holiday tradition for a lot of people around the world. The Grinch is a rare character where he is both the protagonist and antagonist in his own story. When we meet our fuzzy green villain he is ready to destroy the happiness of a whole town of little Whos because he doesn’t understand their love of Christmas. Then after going through an emotional over hall he then understands that he was his own villain, he was standing in his own way to be happy.
Mr. Grinch is a still a villain though and it’s time to evaluate him against our villain characteristics. The Grinch is rather smart when you think about it. When faced with the challenge of getting rid of Christmas he puts a plan together, becoming Santa and stealing presents, and then he actually did it! The Grinch should get a medal, he is one of the only villains to only come up with a plan and then successfully execute it! Ten points to the Grinch! Next we will discuss morality, the Grinch starts with zero morality, he does not care how happy Christmas makes the whos, he hates it therefore he will get rid of it. However at the end of the story when he makes the change from villain to hero the amount of morality he gains is what propels him from villaintown to herodum. Real words, I promise.
The two characteristics I think are the most interesting to discuss about the Grinch are the fact that he is wounded and his obsession. Obviously the Grinch was hurt at some point in his green life to become so hateful towards a day that is meant to be happy and joyful. The book doesn’t divulge into the Grinch’s past, we never get even a hint as to why the guy is such a Scrooge. However in the movie it gives us a theory. Basically the Grinch was adopted by two elderly Who women that raise him in all their Who glory. The Grinch doesn’t really enjoy all the Who thing but when he gets a crush on the prettiest Who at school everything changes. When Christmas comes the Grinch spends all night making a gift for his lady who love and then the next day everyone makes fun of him and he reacts the only way you could in that situation; by throwing a Christmas tree out the window and running away to the top of a mountain and becoming a spiteful green hermit. When we see the back story about this poor guy it’s easy to see how destroying Christmas would become his obsession. The Grinch would displace his feelings about being rejected by his peers to the holiday he actually tried to care about; Christmas. It’s a great story.
The Grinch is relatable in both ends of the story. Full Disclaimer; I love Christmas, and I always have. However I know there are some people that dread this time of year and probably actually route with the Grinch while he is attempting to steal Christmas. Also I think people relate to his growing understanding of the true meaning of the holiday season. They can understand that warm feeling of the holiday spirit filling up inside them until it feels like your heart might explode. Again I love Christmas. Christmas…
I am not going to discuss the sex appeal of a green fuzzy muppet-esque character. Nope.
So as the holiday season comes and goes like it does every year let us remember our friend the Grinch and the lesson he teaches. The Grinch is a great villain simply due to the fact that he teaches us something. The Grinch teaches us that Christmas and the holidays overall are not about gifts and money spent, it’s about being with people we love and care about and being good to our fellow man. It’s a feeling we should try to carry with us for the whole year. So Merry Christmas, Happy Hanukah and Happy Holidays everyone! See you next year!
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