When asked to describe The Cat in the Hat, one would probably tell of a wacky talking Cat that helps a pair of kids to have fun on a rainy day when their mother is out. After all, Dry. Issue’s short picture book is a well-known Story for children. But this seemingly care-free tale contains hidden messages that, when combined, accurately describe the Structure Of the human mind.
One can easily compare The Cat in the Hat to the ideas expressed in Sigmund Fraud’s 1323 book, The Structural Theory of the Psyche. In this book, Freud breaks down the mind into parts, or psychoanalysis it, and theorizes that most of the mind’s activity is unconscious. Three main ideas expressed in The Structural Theory of the Psyche are id, ego, and super-ego, which are Latin for it, l, and over-I. Old is the part of the mind that contains drives, instincts, and impulses.
It has no sense of time or of the external world, so it only cares about what it wants at any given moment. In Issue’s tale, the Cat in the Hat is the id. Although his behavior and his games sapless everyone around him, he continues because he “like(s) to be here ” and believes that “ tricks are not bad” (Issues 12, 27). And when the fish complains, he simply finds even more harmful games to play, such as flying kites inside of the house. The id is greedy and selfish, as shown when the cat plays “up-up-up with a fish” (Issues 12).
Even though he is holding a lot of random objects, including the fish, he claims, “l will not let you fall,” and tries to balance even more Of course, this game ends when all of the things and the cat come tumbling down. This fall represents a point in time in which the reality and rules of the outside world hit the id, but he ignores this realization. It sinks in, however, even the little boy kicks him out of the house. He learns that the world does not revolve around him, and soon after, he comes back to “pick up all the things that were down” (Issues 58).
Anderson 2 The super-ego Of the Story is the fish, Who routinely warns the kids Of the cat’s shenanigans. Many times, he advises the children to “make that cat go away” and “get rid of Thing One and Thing Two” (Issues 1 1, 48). He is the voice of the outside world that Sally and the unnamed boy internalize. Often he says comments such as, “Oh, I do not like it! ” and, “If Mother could see this, Oh, what would she say! ” (Issues 39, 45). The fish and the cat often quarrel, which is fitting since cats and fish have never gotten along in reality or in cartoons.
He tells the cat, You should not be here when our mother is not,” and, “They should not fly kites in a house,” but the cat replies, “l will not go away,” and carries on with his chaotic games (Issues 25, 27, 39), The banter between these two shows the dissension twine the carelessness to the id and the morality tooth super-ego. Although he does not intervene at the beginning of the story, the little boy, who will be called Bob, is the ego of the story. The ego is the referee of the mind; it makes sure that one is psychologically balanced.
At first, the cat’s tricks intrigue the boy, but as the conflicts between the Cat in the Hat and the fish escalate, Bob realizes that he has to mediate in order to regain harmony in the house. Near the end of the story, he ends the chaos by catching Things One and Two with his net and telling the cat to “pack up those things them away” (Issues 2). Because Bob is the narrator of the stoma he gives an unbiased account of the clash between the id and the super-ego.
Instead Of interceding immediately, he observes the situation to decide who is right and who is wrong despite the fact that both the cat and the fish try to sway him by saying things like, flour mother will not mind at all if I do,” and, “He should not be here” (Issues 8, 11). Three other divisions of the mind expressed in The Structural Theory of the Psyche are the conscious, pre-conscious, and unconscious sections. Issues version of the conscious mind is Anderson 3 the rain outside. The kids stay in the house all day because of the rain, and inside is where the whole plot takes place.
Similarly, the conscious part of the mind has the least amount of activity in it. Most of the mind’s activity is unconscious, The most action that occurs outside in the story is that it consistently rains. Throughout The Cat in the Hat, the narrator mentions the rainy day in phrases such as, were sun did not shine, it was too wet to play,” and, “They will give PU some fun on this wet, wet, wet day’ (Issues 1, 31). The metaphor of the pre-conscious mind in The Cat in the Hat is the time period n which Sally and Bob sit and look out the window at the rain.
Their mother is gone, and “all do to sit! Sit! Sit! Sit! ” (Issues 3). This part of the story is very brief and shows their boredom and anticipation. They seem as if they are waiting for something to happen. Bob even says, exasperated, “How wish we had something to do! ” (Issues 2). Shortly after, “something bump! How that bump (makes them] jump! ” (Issues 5). As soon as this happens, they curiously go to see What awaits them. Similarly, the pre-conscious mind is the section Of the mind which is currently idle, but could quickly become active.
The children prove this when they get up to meet the Cat in the HaL Once the cat arrives, the kids transition from the pre-conscious mind to the unconscious mind. The mind stores latent memories, memories that the mind has recently used, in the pre. Conscious mind. Sally and Bob’s house represents the unconscious mind. Most of the plot of the story takes place here just as much of the mind’s activity takes place in the unconscious state. Proof of this is when the Cat in the Hat first arrives. Bob says, “We looked! Then we saw him step in on the mat! ” (Issues 6).
This is the mint of the story when the exposition ends and the author introduces the conflict. As soon as the cat enters the house, the children leave the pre-conscious mind, where something can happen, and enter the unconscious mind, where something does Anderson 4 happen. Similarly, once a memory comes to light in the mind, it is no longer pre-conscious, but conscious. Another important idea expressed in The Structural Theory of the psyche is the belief that the external world strongly influences the mind and internalizes itself in the super-ego. In The Cat in the Hat, the mother embodies the external world.
Although Issues limits her presence in the story, her influence goes a long way. Poor instance, when the cat enters the house, the fish says, “He should not be here when your mother is out! ” (Issues 11). The fish warns the children of what trouble the cat could possibly bring. Another instance in Vichy the children and the fish take their mother into thought is when she is on her way home and the fish says, “She Will not like it to find LIST this way! ” (Issues 47). He is afraid Of What the mother might think about the mess that the cat makes, just as the super-ego worries about What society may or may not accept.
This proves that although the mother is not physically at hand, the super-ego stores her teachings forever. Before the Cat in the Hat brings Things One and TWO into the house, they are latent. As they wait to be released from the “big red wood box” that the cat carries them in, their potential energy rises, and their anticipation grows (Issues 29). When the Things are in the box, Issues exemplifies how even though they are idle at the moment, they could easily become dynamic. Immediately after the cat frees the Things, they spring into action by “ to [the children) fast” and hiking their hands vigorously (Issues 33, 34).
Once the Things are out of the box, they are no longer latent, The Cat in the Hat can be interpreted in many different ways, not just as the structure of the mind, but it naturally illustrates and supports Fraud’s theory. Dry. Issue’s characters, plot, and setting choices all help to explain psychoanalysis in a way that is easy to understand, Comparing Anderson S this children’s book to a scientific theory makes one wonder if all of Issue’s work had underlying meanings, Was he really writing stories to entertain kids, or to inform adults?