House of Earth Question #22 - Grasshopper

by Woody Guthrie

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House of Earth Question #22 - Grasshopper

Unread postby Liz » Fri Apr 19, 2013 10:18 pm

Why do you think Tike nick-named the baby Grasshopper?
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Re: House of Earth Question #22 - Grasshopper

Unread postby nebraska » Fri Apr 19, 2013 10:35 pm

Clearly he had not heard of Kung Fu and David Carradine. :biglaugh:

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Re: House of Earth Question #22 - Grasshopper

Unread postby Liz » Fri Apr 19, 2013 10:45 pm

But is it not true that the baby was novice, a greenhorn, a student/disciple, a subordinate, or just simply ignorant, as was Caine at the time?

Seems Woody was ahead of his time.
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Re: House of Earth Question #22 - Grasshopper

Unread postby Theresa » Fri Apr 19, 2013 10:53 pm

nebraska wrote:Clearly he had not heard of Kung Fu and David Carradine. :biglaugh:

:biglaugh:

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Re: House of Earth Question #22 - Grasshopper

Unread postby fireflydances » Fri Apr 19, 2013 11:04 pm

nebraska wrote:Clearly he had not heard of Kung Fu and David Carradine. :biglaugh:


Yeah, 'fraid I can't read "Grasshopper" and not think of David Carradine. I don't think Guthrie had a symbolic reason for the name. It's a natural for a young boy. At the same time Liz, you have a persuasive argument. Symbolism is a funny thing; sometimes a writer himself isn't consciously aware of what he's doing. It's only when we, the readers, stand back and note the greater significance of the thing. One of the ways we are all connected I guess -- someone writes, we all see.
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Re: House of Earth Question #22 - Grasshopper

Unread postby Gilbert's Girl » Sat Apr 20, 2013 3:15 am

:lol:

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Re: House of Earth Question #22 - Grasshopper

Unread postby ladylinn » Sat Apr 20, 2013 11:16 am

:harhar: Oh nebraska - how could I add anything to that!! :biglaugh:

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Re: House of Earth Question #22 - Grasshopper

Unread postby Liz » Sun Apr 21, 2013 2:48 pm

I actually wondered if the name had to do with the grasshopper plague that happened during the mid 30s.

It seemed to me like an insult to the baby. But I'm wondering if Tike (or Woody) felt that the grasshopper symbolized strength and perseverance - almost stronger than man because it destroyed man's crops and livelihood. And I think that we all want to endow our children with those two qualities, if possible.
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Re: House of Earth Question #22 - Grasshopper

Unread postby Ophelia » Sun Apr 21, 2013 2:55 pm

Interesting (symbolic) titbit about grasshoppers: they can ever only jump forwards, never backwards or sideways.. :bigwink:

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Re: House of Earth Question #22 - Grasshopper

Unread postby DeppInTheHeartOfTexas » Sun Apr 21, 2013 3:06 pm

nebraska! :lol:

I can't say that I read anything symbolic into it, just a term of endearment.
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Re: House of Earth Question #22 - Grasshopper

Unread postby nebraska » Sun Apr 21, 2013 3:20 pm

DeppInTheHeartOfTexas wrote:nebraska! :lol:

I can't say that I read anything symbolic into it, just a term of endearment.

I would have to agree with that -- we had some nicknames for our kids, some of which might be considered an insult by others, but were never meant as anything but a term of endearment. :bigwink:

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Re: House of Earth Question #22 - Grasshopper

Unread postby RamblinRebel » Mon Apr 22, 2013 7:57 pm

nebraska wrote:Clearly he had not heard of Kung Fu and David Carradine. :biglaugh:

Oh that's so funny. You lovely noodlemantras have taught me something new yet again. I always thought that the 'grasshopper' reference when used in that sense was a reference to the original Karate Kid movie, as in when Mr. Miyagi calls Daniel "young grasshopper". But apparently Mr. Miyagi was watching a lot of Kung Fu with David Carradine! :lol:

So when I read that passage I heard Mr. Miyagi's voice in my head. But anyway, once I pushed his voice aside, I saw it as a term of endearment also. I thought of a grasshopper jumping all around, something along the lines of a "bouncing baby boy".

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Re: House of Earth Question #22 - Grasshopper

Unread postby Liz » Mon Apr 22, 2013 9:50 pm

Ophelia wrote:Interesting (symbolic) titbit about grasshoppers: they can ever only jump forwards, never backwards or sideways.. :bigwink:

Hadn't thought of that. :cool:
You can't judge a book by its cover.

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Re: House of Earth Question #22 - Grasshopper

Unread postby Buster » Tue Apr 23, 2013 4:37 pm

At the very end of the book, Tike sings a song where the grasshopper stands up to the landlord:
Well the Grasshopper says to that landlord
You can drive your tractor all around
You can plow, you can plant, you can take in your crop
But you cain't run my earth house down, down, down!
No! You cain"t run my earth house down!


Maybe Tike called him Grasshopper because he had as much a natural right to live on the land as the grasshoppers do...

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Re: House of Earth Question #22 - Grasshopper

Unread postby fireflydances » Tue Apr 23, 2013 4:48 pm

Buster wrote:At the very end of the book, Tike sings a song where the grasshopper stands up to the landlord:
Well the Grasshopper says to that landlord
You can drive your tractor all around
You can plow, you can plant, you can take in your crop
But you cain't run my earth house down, down, down!
No! You cain"t run my earth house down!


Maybe Tike called him Grasshopper because he had as much a natural right to live on the land as the grasshoppers do...


Oh my goodness that makes perfect sense! I really like that Buster.

I also started thinking of the grasshopper from the Aesop's fable of the grasshopper and the ant. Of course that one has a not so happy ending for the grasshopper who played fiddle and danced instead of gathering food for winter, but there's also something to be said about taking time for joy instead of the nose to the grindstone outlook on life.

So, the grasshopper chorus at the end is sort of --- Singing grasshopper finally gets his message across: songs are as valuable as conventional work.
"Some books are to be tasted, others to be swallowed and some few to be chewed and digested." Sir Francis Bacon, Of Studies


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