Everyone seems to get something from reading this book. Each year I have her teachers write a note to her about how she was as a student, a funny story, or any other memories that were shared during the school year.
On a personal note, I purchased this book for my daughter when she was born. I have kept this a secret from her, and when she is finished with school, I plan to give it to her as a present I know she will enjoy receiving.
I know every time I read this book, I read it with a new viewpoint.
What I find fascinating about this particular book is any person can relate to it; whether it is a young student who has yet to experience life ahead or an adult who has lived a full life.
It's a purgatory of suspended animation, a kind of cosmic Department of Motor Vehicles, crowded with glassy-eyed folks staring off, "waiting for the fish to bite / or waiting for the wind to fly a kite." Not our graduate! " It's a point emphasized several times: "You're on your own." If anything, "Oh, the Places You'll Go" is an affirmation of solitude as an existential fact and an opportunity.
"Whether you like it or not," Seuss says, "Alone will be something / you'll be quite a lot." What fantasy could be more appealing to debt-laden graduates moving back home with their parents?
As Lurie and other critics have noted, "Oh, the Places You'll Go" is a full-throated affirmation of individual supremacy in a competitive market.
The children of Lake Wobegon may all be above average, but that's for saps.
Its sweet promise of complete autonomy is a bouncing repudiation of the claim that it takes a village. Indeed, for this little hero, as for Jean-Paul Sartre, hell is other people.
Seuss illustrates that in the story's darkest -- and only fully populated -- moment: The Waiting Place.