NRO's Charles Cooke schools the writer who finds bad messages in "Thomas the Tank Engine."
This is not adult literature, and nor is it a lecture at Berkeley. It is a series of stories aimed at young children, who need to rebel and to play, but who also need – indeed, who crave – rules. Hatt is not capricious or mean or violent. He doesn’t cheat or steal, or abuse his engines. He’s just in charge of the railway, as parents are in charge of their kids. If there is any lesson to be taken from his personality, it is that those in a position of responsibility can often be inadvertently amusing. Awdry himself considered the character to be something of a parody of “‘pompous railway officials” who “gave out plenty of orders, but never actually did anything.”