Wednesday, February 2, 2011

A Person’s a Person, No Matter How Small

Horton Hears a Who! is an animated film adapted from a beloved children’s book by Dr. Seuss. The story centers around Horton, a bumbling yet brave elephant and McDodd, the mayor of Whoville. McDodd’s whole world is no more than a tiny speck from Horton’s view, and Horton is so large and far away that Mayor McDodd cannot actually see him. They can hear each other though, and it is through their conversations that Horton learns that he must find a safe place for the speck in order for the people of Whoville to survive.

During week two of this semester, our class spent some time talking about the definition of “person”. A Christian defines persons as having both a body and a soul; a carbon shell in which God has placed his very breath. At what point in our development do we become persons endowed with a soul as well as a body?

Many claim that human life does not begin until birth, or at least not until the unborn child is capable of surviving outside the womb. The writer of Psalm 139:16 states “Your eyes saw my unformed body; all the days ordained for me were written in your book before one of them came to be.” Based on this description of God knowing us before we were born, many Christians claim that life begins at conception. Although the story of Horton Hears a Who! is not a direct allegory about the abortion situation, I am proud to state with Horton that, “A person’s a person, no matter how small!”


  1. What a great connected between Dr. Seuss and the definition of a person. That just goes to show that God's truth can be found through many different avenues, even Dr. Seuss. When trying to understand how to define a person and when a person becomes a person, it is invaluable that we look to the Bible for understanding. For persons to think that they can themselves define personhood is naive. We need to look outside of ourselves to the one who not only defined, but created, persons. Looking to the Bible is the answer to understanding what a person is.

  2. I think another interesting thought behind this movie is the idea the seperate worlds that they live in as well as size. It is just amazing how little the Whoville's world is in comparison to Hortons. In the same way, humans can't actually see God, however through His Scripture and the Holy Spirit he is able to speak to us. It kinda resembles the whole size of the Earth versus the Universe. I love seeing how many analogies can be pulled from simple Children's movies.


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