With only 51 different words used throughout the story’s 671 words, the format does not leave much room for similes. Individual metaphors are also a hopeless cause, but on a larger scale, those 51 words manage to far exceed any conventional expectations about the story’s metaphorical dimension. Consider that the term “Green Eggs and Ham” becomes a stunningly condensed metaphor encompassing the fundamental necessity of a consumer-based economy on one level.
When the economy is not dependent on manufacturing and production, but rather on what people buy, sustainability is simply no longer attainable by just offering people what they want. Green eggs and ham is a metaphor for every new product that consumers had to be persuaded to buy since they didn’t need or want it.
“Are you in a car?”
Sam-I-Am has a lot of questions. From a strictly symbolic standpoint, some are more meaningful than others. The vehicle began its life in American society as a replacement for the horse, getting you from one location to another more swiftly and comfortably. However, it didn’t take long for the car to become something to people all over the world, particularly Americans: a way to no longer be constrained to enjoying the things you love at home only while you were at home.
Cars have become a place to “experience” new things that have been expected: radio, pre-recorded music, movies, television shows, cold soda, hot meals, sleeping, foot massage, and so on. When Sam asks the large guy if he wants to eat green eggs and ham in a car, it goes from being a literal food to a metaphor for everything that has already happened and will one day go from being something solely enjoyed at home to becoming standard equipment on all new cars.
Even though absolutely nothing of substance occurs in the plot, it is always in motion. Sam’s entrance onto the scene is a three-shot showing him entering from the left, disappearing from the right, then reappearing in the other way. From then on, he is all movement, bringing (or pushing) the huge person with him.
Sam has a range of mechanical arm extensions, a railway in addition to the card, and even a boat in terms of climate. It’s an action film that’s continually moving but has very little genuine action. That statement perfectly fits a well-known work of cinematic arts: television ads. The entire story is a metaphor for how TV advertising engages to distract and offers storytelling promises that are nearly always broken.
Surrender But Don’t Give Up On Yourself
Sam-I-relentless, Am’s persistent, invasive, and uninformative marketing effort finally wins over the big guy. Sam wears him down till he caves. This moment is only a metaphor for every time someone who claimed they would never return to Wal-Mart comes to Wal-Mart, just as it is a metaphor for someone lighting up a cigarette who swore just yesterday that this time they were going to quit for real and kick the habit at midnight. Giving in to advertising is the one genuine authentic component of modern life that unites every single American.
“Thank you very much, Sam-I-Am!”
At first glance, this may appear to be only an unforeseen irony. After all of his refusals, the large guy ends up preferring green eggs and ham. But pay attention to what he acts after this enlightenment.
He then goes on to repeat the litany of what Sam has been saying as part of his sales approach, line by line and word for word. He’d eat them in a boat, on a goat, in the rain, at night, and on a train. He doesn’t just find that he loves green eggs and ham; he also commits to eating them in boxes, with foxes, in houses, and with mice.
There’s no way to tell whether he honestly and genuinely likes the taste of green eggs and ham or whether he’s just another robot zombie customer brainwashed by marketing genius into thinking—perhaps only temporarily—he likes something he doesn’t. What does he represent? Probably everyone who has ever purchased more than two items in their life.
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