Marxist Literary Criticism Of “Grinch Stole Christmas”

The Grinch is a green, hairy creature with a grin from ear-to-ear in the film How the Grinch Stole Christmas (2000). He has lived in a cave at the top of a mountain, with Max, his only and loyal friend. When he was a young child, he fled from other children because of bad experiences. The isolation he felt led to an uncontrollable hatred towards Christmas and a thirst of revenge.

How the Grinch Stole Christmas is a literary work that, while it has traits in common with other literary criticisms and socio-political criticisms as well as Marxism, falls primarily under Sociopolitical or Marxist criticism. While it may not be a moral critique, the story does contain some elements, such as comparing the values between the Whos and the Grinch.

Marxism views capitalism and class struggles as the causes of social problems. This is the view of the Grinch, who believes that the Whos are the capitalists in his society that make him feel alienated because he can’t buy the things they can. The Grinch “hates Christmas” because he feels he is not a part of the Christmas season due to his socio-economic status.

Marxism “criticises[es]] texts which assume [a] classist society based on economic elitism,” but “champion[s]” texts supporting the “commonman.” The Grinch clearly isn’t a “commonman” in Whoville because he can’t afford the “toys,” “Whoroast Beasts,” and other things that seem so important to the Whos. The Grinch is troubled by this, because he believes that material goods are what makes people happy, and he doesn’t have any of these things.

He is shocked to learn that Christmas did not come with ribbons or tags. The Whos didn’t care about money or goods. The Grinch thought that Christmas was all about material. When he found out that it didn’t “come in a store”, he “gave three sizes to his small heart”.

Marxism is an economic theory that attempts to create a society that is more just and fair. In The Grinch Took Christmas, the Grinch was convinced that stripping away everything from the Whos will bring them down to his economic level. They would then all experience his unhappy life. Dr Seuss shows that after realizing the importance of material wealth, the distribution of love will bring happiness to the village.



Makhi is a 34 yo educational blogger who is passionate about writing and exploring new content ideas. She has a degree in English from the University of Utah and is currently working as a teacher in a public school in Utah. Makhi has been published in numerous online journals and has been featured on national television networks.