Exploring the Riddle of Curious George: A Thematic Study

Veena Vijaya


Children’s literature has created versatile and popular characters since its inception. These characters produced a nostalgic and overwhelming presence through their actions, behaviors and unique identities on readers’ minds. This paper probes into a complex notion of the identity of a popular character in children’s literature, Curious George. Various authors and critics have tried to focus on different aspects of George’s personality. The scope of this paper is to explore the versatile and multifaceted features of George’s character, and to make an association between the character and its creators, H. A. Rey and Margaret Rey. The eventful life of the childless authors, who lived in a war-inflicted world, moving from one place to another, and seeking a final refuge in United States, is carefully analyzed and investigated in detail. The hilarious role played by George as a savior, to redeem them physically and psychologically, is adequately traced. Through the various Curious George series, the character of George is deeply examined and his relation to the ‘Man with the Yellow Hat’ has been interpreted from an oriental and postcolonial perspective. The enigma or riddle behind the true nature of George continually makes him one of the most beloved characters in the field of children’s literature. Observed and analyzed in the light of war-affected world, during which he was created, George provides the potential to survive in any conflict –riven situation internally or externally. His multiple personalities of an animal, child, prisoner, Orient and African provides various facets that keeps his identity in a flux.


Children’S Literature, Riddle, Myth, Postcolonial, Oriental, Identity, Orient, Savior

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DOI: https://doi.org/10.7575/aiac.alls.v.10n.3p.65


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