In 2014, an unlikeliest hero was brought to the screen. Though this character has been around since November 1960, when he first appeared in Marvel’s Tales to Astonish issue #13, he has found an increase in notoriety because of both good marketing and his cuteness factor, which has been recently previewed in the second trailer of the new edition of Guardians of the Galaxy. This hero being the tree creature–Groot.
As Groot’s best friend, Rocket [the raccoon], makes clear to Star-Lord, that at first listen, Groot’s vocabulary might not sound so intelligent,”Well he don’t know talkin’ good like me and you, so his vocabulistics is limited to ‘I’ and ‘am’ and ‘Groot,’ exclusively in that order.” Yet, what if this is not the whole story?
Though Groot only says, “I am, Groot,” what if he’s not only saying, “I am, Groot?” After all, if Rocket is not completely bonkers, nor making up that he can understand what Groot is truly saying, then it’s logical to conclude that Groot is not only saying, “I am, Groot,” though at the same this is the only phrase that he states.
What if this is because Groot truly understands how to speak? What if this is because Groot truly knows who he is?
In the book of Exodus, when Moses first confronts God as the burning bush, he asked the Lord after He declared that Moses shall be his messenger to the people of Israel:
“If I come to the people of Israel and say to them, ‘The God of your fathers has sent me to you,’ and they ask me, ‘What is his name?’ what shall I say to them?” God said to Moses, “I AM who I AM.” And he said, “Say this to the people of Israel: ‘I AM has sent me to you’ (Exodus 3:13-14).
First off, I’m not comparing Groot on the same level as Yahweh; however, he does share a similarity with our Creator. You see, when Moses asked God who he should tell the people Who sent him, God first answers before later revealing His divine name, אֶהְיֶה אֲשֶׁר אֶהְיֶה (“‘Ehyeh ‘Asher Ehyeh.” [“I AM who I AM.”]).
This one simple phrase packs so much meaning within it. Yahweh sums His very essence by simply stating, “I AM.”
What if Groot within his speech, does something similar? What if Groot truly knows who he is. Therefore, he can say in unshakable confidence, “I am, Groot.” This phrase honestly expressing each statement which Groot speaks. A being who has somehow overcome his insecurities and in confidence can say, “I am Groot.” Each sentence declaring who he is, what it means to be Groot.
ROCKET “Groot, do you have my back?”
GROOT “I am, Groot.”
ROCKET “Groot, can you make me a sandwich?”
GROOT “I am, Groot.”
ROCKET “Groot, now whatever you do, do not push this button.”
GROOT “I am, Groot!”
Though Groot may sound like he doesn’t know talkin’ as good as me and you–what if his talking–is yet deeper than the words we speak from our extensive vocabularies? What if language, isn’t about how many words you know, but how wisely you use them?