Originally Posted by ceilydhmama
lol... I do this all the time... DD actually got mad at me recently (we were reading Rupert the Bear and I was explaining that despite the lack of girls in the story - girls can have adventures too) and she said "Mother, some books are just silly fun - there is not always a DEEPER SOCIAL MEANING."
Seems she's picking up on the lingo, even if she disputes my analysis
The protagonist of the book, whom I will call Black Hat, is clearly prejudiced against the green eggs and ham. Quite obviously, the milieu in which the dish is presented is not his issue -- he "would not like them in a box" and "would not like them in the car...in a boat...on the train," and so on. Moreover, it is not the company with which he could theoretically eat the aforementioned dish: Black Hat repeatedly states he "would not eat them with a fox...with a mouse...with a goat," and so on.
In the penultimate scene of the book, we learn in fact that it is not a previous negative experience with the GE&H that causes Black Hat's antipathy: indeed, when he tries them, he eagerly admits "They are so good, so good, you see." Not only has he apparently never tried them before, but when he does, he finds them savory.
When we eliminate all of these commonsense reasons for disliking a food, the only thing we're really left with as a basis of Black Hat's unreasonable prejudice is a very simple one:
COLOR. That's right, COLOR.
It would be sufficient to communicate this point if the eggs alone were green, but as Sam-I-Am repeatedly points out, the eggs AND ham are both the "offensive" color. The reason for the ham is clear: it is an allusion to religious prejudice. The author has clearly chosen a form of symbolic inversion (by which something is represented by its opposite) to represent prejudice against the group whose most notable dietary laws prohibit the consumption of pork, green or otherwise: Muslims and Jews.
The messages of the book are clear. Judge not by the color of the eggs, but by the content of their flavor. They are so good, so good, you see!
Don't be an anti-SAMite.