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Comments on: Imagination in Where The Wild Things Are http://journeytothesea.com/imagination-wild-things/ an online magazine devoted to the study of myth Mon, 01 Oct 2012 20:00:05 +0000 http://wordpress.org/?v=2.8.4 hourly 1 By: richard http://journeytothesea.com/imagination-wild-things/comment-page-1/#comment-1284 richard Thu, 02 Jun 2011 12:32:08 +0000 http://journeytothesea.com/?p=3721#comment-1284 <p>I do not understand the popularity of this book as a teaching resource. Personally I do not like the illustrations, the story is lame and perhaps a bit scary for younger students. I do not understand why the moon goes through the phases and that is one of the first things I noticed. If it is so hard for adults to understand why should it be used in a primary classsroom? I just don't get it. I would rather critically analyse the three little pigs.</p> I do not understand the popularity of this book as a teaching resource. Personally I do not like the illustrations, the story is lame and perhaps a bit scary for younger students. I do not understand why the moon goes through the phases and that is one of the first things I noticed. If it is so hard for adults to understand why should it be used in a primary classsroom? I just don’t get it. I would rather critically analyse the three little pigs.

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By: Randy Hoyt http://journeytothesea.com/imagination-wild-things/comment-page-1/#comment-1212 Randy Hoyt Fri, 10 Sep 2010 14:32:14 +0000 http://journeytothesea.com/?p=3721#comment-1212 <p>I hadn't noticed the fuller plant before; thanks for pointing that out! It definitely has more foliage. Just like the fuller moon and the fuller page, I think I would understand the fuller plant as an indication of Max's internal growth.</p> <p>(Also interesting to note, it looks like Max's mom had to move the plant over to make room for Max's dinner. :~)</p> I hadn’t noticed the fuller plant before; thanks for pointing that out! It definitely has more foliage. Just like the fuller moon and the fuller page, I think I would understand the fuller plant as an indication of Max’s internal growth.

(Also interesting to note, it looks like Max’s mom had to move the plant over to make room for Max’s dinner. :~)

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By: Rhyan Clapham http://journeytothesea.com/imagination-wild-things/comment-page-1/#comment-1211 Rhyan Clapham Fri, 10 Sep 2010 03:51:41 +0000 http://journeytothesea.com/?p=3721#comment-1211 <p>Also, it almost seems as though the plant on the table beside Max's window has grown fuller, if you actually count the stems. This isn't a definite clue, but it can support that argument that Max's journey was real.</p> <p>Although, an idea that i think hasn't been brought up already, is that almost every monster has at least one human character trait. One monster has human feet, another human female hair, and another with a striped upper body, almost like a striped jumper. These traits can be linked from Max's past of course; collective knowledge to be used in Max's imagination. This is another piece of evidence that further supports the idea that Max was indeed using his imagination to create his journey.... or asleep.</p> Also, it almost seems as though the plant on the table beside Max’s window has grown fuller, if you actually count the stems. This isn’t a definite clue, but it can support that argument that Max’s journey was real.

Although, an idea that i think hasn’t been brought up already, is that almost every monster has at least one human character trait. One monster has human feet, another human female hair, and another with a striped upper body, almost like a striped jumper. These traits can be linked from Max’s past of course; collective knowledge to be used in Max’s imagination. This is another piece of evidence that further supports the idea that Max was indeed using his imagination to create his journey…. or asleep.

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By: Rhyan Clapham http://journeytothesea.com/imagination-wild-things/comment-page-1/#comment-1210 Rhyan Clapham Fri, 10 Sep 2010 03:34:51 +0000 http://journeytothesea.com/?p=3721#comment-1210 <p>In regards to the moon, as mentioned from another person replying, I believe the moon supports the idea that Max is still using his imagination to see the world, even after he returns to his room. More importantly, if we were to compare the first illustration that displays the moon in its incomplete form, with the last illustration of the full moon, It could also be a clue that would support the idea that what Max experienced and where he went was in fact real.</p> In regards to the moon, as mentioned from another person replying, I believe the moon supports the idea that Max is still using his imagination to see the world, even after he returns to his room. More importantly, if we were to compare the first illustration that displays the moon in its incomplete form, with the last illustration of the full moon, It could also be a clue that would support the idea that what Max experienced and where he went was in fact real.

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By: Courtney http://journeytothesea.com/imagination-wild-things/comment-page-1/#comment-1190 Courtney Sat, 20 Mar 2010 01:10:02 +0000 http://journeytothesea.com/?p=3721#comment-1190 <p>This is such an excellent analysis of the book, and its really helping me with my english assessment to try and analyse the book and how it relates to the journeying aspect (which is what i have to do for year 11 advanced english). Thanks for posting this :DD</p> This is such an excellent analysis of the book, and its really helping me with my english assessment to try and analyse the book and how it relates to the journeying aspect (which is what i have to do for year 11 advanced english). Thanks for posting this :DD

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By: Randy Hoyt http://journeytothesea.com/imagination-wild-things/comment-page-1/#comment-1185 Randy Hoyt Mon, 22 Feb 2010 15:34:37 +0000 http://journeytothesea.com/?p=3721#comment-1185 <p>It took me a while to track down confirmation, but I found them listed in a few places as this: "Pen and ink, watercolor." (See <a href="http://www.canarypromo.com/user-images/pdf/Rosenbach%20Museum%20&%20Library%20Maurice%20Sendak%20Where%20the%20Wild%20Things%20Are%20Sample%20Images.pdf" rel="nofollow">here</a> for an example.)</p> It took me a while to track down confirmation, but I found them listed in a few places as this: “Pen and ink, watercolor.” (See here for an example.)

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By: Ginny http://journeytothesea.com/imagination-wild-things/comment-page-1/#comment-1184 Ginny Thu, 18 Feb 2010 04:31:23 +0000 http://journeytothesea.com/?p=3721#comment-1184 <p>What medium is used for the illustrations?</p> What medium is used for the illustrations?

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By: Randy Hoyt http://journeytothesea.com/imagination-wild-things/comment-page-1/#comment-1152 Randy Hoyt Tue, 20 Oct 2009 15:45:34 +0000 http://journeytothesea.com/?p=3721#comment-1152 <p>Peony Moss - I'm glad someone brought up the phases of the moon in the illustrations! I wanted to mention that in my article, but I felt it would take up too much space.</p> <p>When Max returns, the moon is definitely full. But this doesn't mean it went backwards one week: it could just have easily gone forward three weeks ... or seven weeks ... or four hundred and three weeks ... or beyond. This is the strongest piece of evidence in the case that Max took a literal journey instead of an imaginative one. He sailed for "almost over a year" to get to where the wild things are, and he sailed for "over a year" to get back. If it was literal, that would have been roughly two years of travel -- plus the time he spent with the wild things. The moon very easily could have been full when he returned.</p> <p>But I think it's important to note that a waning crescent would only be visible <em>waaaaay</em> past Max's bedtime. A full moon first rises at sunset; as the moon gets smaller and smaller, it rises later and later. Depending on the exact size of the moon here, it could be well after midnight. (No wonder Max was misbehaving!) I think all the other evidence indicates that the journey was imaginative (most commentators assume this), but then we have to account for the phases of the moon somehow. It should have appeared in the same phase at the end of the journey; if the journey covered any length of time, the moon should no longer have been visible through the window.</p> <p>Most people do not understand how the moon works, and that fact plays a large part in how I account for the moon in these illustrations. I imagine either that Sendak simply did not understand the moon when he made the illustrations or that he did not feel constrained to depict the moon literally (since most readers wouldn't notice). Without that knowledge or that constraint, I imagine he decided to use the moon metaphorically. Just like the size of the illustrations grows to fill the page, so too does the light of the moon grow to fill the whole surface. I think the full moon nicely mirrors the broadening of Max's perspective; he now sees his real world better -- as if by more light -- than he saw it before his journey.</p> Peony Moss – I’m glad someone brought up the phases of the moon in the illustrations! I wanted to mention that in my article, but I felt it would take up too much space.

When Max returns, the moon is definitely full. But this doesn’t mean it went backwards one week: it could just have easily gone forward three weeks … or seven weeks … or four hundred and three weeks … or beyond. This is the strongest piece of evidence in the case that Max took a literal journey instead of an imaginative one. He sailed for “almost over a year” to get to where the wild things are, and he sailed for “over a year” to get back. If it was literal, that would have been roughly two years of travel — plus the time he spent with the wild things. The moon very easily could have been full when he returned.

But I think it’s important to note that a waning crescent would only be visible waaaaay past Max’s bedtime. A full moon first rises at sunset; as the moon gets smaller and smaller, it rises later and later. Depending on the exact size of the moon here, it could be well after midnight. (No wonder Max was misbehaving!) I think all the other evidence indicates that the journey was imaginative (most commentators assume this), but then we have to account for the phases of the moon somehow. It should have appeared in the same phase at the end of the journey; if the journey covered any length of time, the moon should no longer have been visible through the window.

Most people do not understand how the moon works, and that fact plays a large part in how I account for the moon in these illustrations. I imagine either that Sendak simply did not understand the moon when he made the illustrations or that he did not feel constrained to depict the moon literally (since most readers wouldn’t notice). Without that knowledge or that constraint, I imagine he decided to use the moon metaphorically. Just like the size of the illustrations grows to fill the page, so too does the light of the moon grow to fill the whole surface. I think the full moon nicely mirrors the broadening of Max’s perspective; he now sees his real world better — as if by more light — than he saw it before his journey.

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By: Peony Moss http://journeytothesea.com/imagination-wild-things/comment-page-1/#comment-1147 Peony Moss Sat, 17 Oct 2009 12:55:56 +0000 http://journeytothesea.com/?p=3721#comment-1147 <p>Lovely. I always thought of the voyage taking place in Max's imagination as well.</p> <p>What do you make of the phases of the moon? When Max is sent to bed, the moon is a waning crescent, and when he returns, the moon is full. In the pages shown, the moon is actually "going backwards", going from a later to an earlier phase in its cycle: cf. http://www.samuelwat.com/peabody/images/moonphases.jpg</p> Lovely. I always thought of the voyage taking place in Max’s imagination as well.

What do you make of the phases of the moon? When Max is sent to bed, the moon is a waning crescent, and when he returns, the moon is full. In the pages shown, the moon is actually “going backwards”, going from a later to an earlier phase in its cycle: cf. http://www.samuelwat.com/peabody/images/moonphases.jpg

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