Goodnight Light and the Red Balloon

If you’ve taken my Sleep Clinic, you’ve heard me talk about _Goodnight Moon_ — Margaret Wise Brown’s classic bedtime story, which acts like part prayer, part lullaby and is an iconic part of so many folks’ bedtime routines.  

The book’s been parodied lots of times, but this hilarious piece at McSweeneys is a new take on it — it’s an analysis of GNM written in the style of a scholarly essay, complete with an assessment of symbols of postwar materialism (bunny lists all his belongings), and thematic content (red balloon =  cold-war-era Communist threat), and an exploration of Bunny’s Search For Masculine Self:  

[T]he bunny’s final “goodnight moon” demonstrates his completion of his rite of passage and his development into a full man bunny. The moon, which visually appears on every page, grows larger and more pronounced—it is a chanting feminine voice, haunting and disturbing his world. Just as he must overcome his sexual desire for the woman who says “hush,” the bunny must resist the impending femininity outside of his safe confines. In Queer Theory, the bunny’s final admonishment—”goodnight noises everywhere”—represents his full on embrace of a heteronormative lifestyle and a rejection of his “deviant” thoughts, probably about the kittens with the mittens.

If you’re reading GNM to your little one night after freaking night, perhaps this will add a bit of chuckle-value for you.