Thursday, December 15, 2011

Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer

An Essay by

Frosty T. Snowman



Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer is one of the most famous and popular figures in worldwide history. His humble origins, and struggle with unfair discrimnation by his peers, are capable of inspiring anyone with his subsequent rise in favor and importance in the North Pole. However, it seems to me that Rudolph's apparently messianic significance is instead a symptom of an ugly reality: that the North Pole tends toward prejudice, utilitarianism and fame based acclaim. In this essay, I intend to prove how Rudolph is not the humble messianic hero we often see him as. Rather he is a victim, a victim of prejudice, utilitarianism, and fame.

Any child knows the story of Rudolph, and how he stood out from the other reindeer due to his shiny, light-bulb like red nose. This simple difference made him the childhood victim of scorn and rejection by his peers. The other reindeer mocked him, simply because he was not like the others. Here we can see an example of pressure toward conformity, a common problem in our modern era, particularly public highschools. Far too many individuals are mocked and rejcted merely because they do not conform to the societal norms of their particular environment. This is perhaps the clearest example that the North Pole is a place where prejudice based merely on a lack of conformity runs rampant. Furthermore, this kind of biased discrimination is permissible even among Santa's handpicked companions in bringing gifts to the children of the world on Christmas Eve. Such obvious prejudice causes one to raise serious questions regarding the character of these special reindeer, and even concerning that of Santa himself.

Another reason to question the character of Santa is his blatant tendency toward utilitarianism. Santa never accepts Rudolph for who he is, rather he simply sees him as a tool for accomplishing what must be selfish ends. It is highly probable that Santa's apparent generosity is instead an effort to obtain worldwide fame, and that his gift giving is rather a kind of bribery. And Rudolph is just another pawn in this grand scheme. By seemingly raising a rejected individual to fame and glory, Santa portrays himself as benevolent leader who can find the good in anyone. However, if this were truly the case, there would be no such thing as a "Naughty" list. Santa is clearly using Rudolph; his request for the outcast reindeer to light the way during the delivery of presents is undeniably a scam. How did Santa get around before Rudolph entered the picture? What makes Rudolph so necessary? Nothing, except insofar as he can further Santa's scheme to be acclaimed as the generous benefactor to millions of children, and the achievement of his worldwide fame and popularity.

Santa's obvious lust for fame decidedly affects his chosen reindeer. On the one hand, it is possible that they too desire great acclaim and popularity. On the other, they might be mindless minions who simply obey Santa's every whim. Personally I am more inclined to believe the former thesis. Either way however, Rudolph is a victim. Note how highly the other reindeer adore him, but only once he has found himself on apprently excellent terms with Santa. The other reindeer may tolerate Rudolph because they are expected to, pretending to adore him, but in reality loathing him. Alternately, they may see him as a possible savior from their slavery under the rein of Santa. Whichever may be the case, Santa's handpicked reindeer are not handpicked for their goodness. Rather they are chosen for their ability to serve without asking questions, or for their snobbery and lust for popularity. Rudolph is indeed a tragic victim of this dreadful circumstance.

In conclusion, one can see that Rudolph is not really the hero he often appears to be. Rather he is a victim from the start. His rejection by his peers, Santa's utilitarian treatment of him for unimaginably selfish ends, and the lack of true friendship from the other reindeer, all point to serious problems festering in the North Pole itself.