A short book with short sentences with realitivly small type (realitive to the amount of words on the page.)
First off, I want to point out that this is another example of a female author and illustrator creating a book about two male characters, the human of the pair being a stereotypical white boy.
The only other characters depicted are seen in the mouses’ drawing of his family – a family which is very stereotypically represented.
An interesting element of the representation of the two male characters is that they spend a majority of the book cleaning and grooming – something that little boys rarely do! This betrays the author’s lack of research of her subject – which as we know is crucial when attempting to accuratly portray a member of a group which is beyond the authors realm of personal experience. The creators attempt to make up for this deficit by including the blatently stereotypically depiction of the boy throwing away the contents of an expensive make-up container – succumbing to the inaccurate and potentially insulting stereotype that boys do not like make-up.
Addressing a different aspect, I am concerned by the creator’s enimgmatic subtext to the entire premise – the idea that a human child can be ordered around without being allowed to voice desention. The interaction between the mouse and the child appeare to be in direct correlation to the interaction between White master and Negro slave 300 years ago. This is furthered by the illustrator’s depiction of the human child being over burdened with cleaning supplies and obligations despite being visibly tired. The human child is devoid of emotional expression throughout the entire book, similar to the way in which slaves were unable to show their discontent as they toiled on the plantation.
I believe there is some significance that the Dominator in the interaction is embodied by a mouse – opften used metaphorically to represent the weak and strengthless. What kind of message are the creators attempting to convey through this obscured refrence to slaverly and in-equality? It’s quite vexing…