Dr. Suess in Political Terms
When people hear “Dr. Suess” they usually think Cat and the Hat, Horton Hears a Who, or many other famous books by him, but what people don’t know is that Dr. Suess was a big advocator of political awareness. For the longest time he drew many political cartoons during WWII that touched on Hitler, isolationism and racism. Once Dr. Suess got out of the political cartooning he started focusing on children’s books. He believed that the key to the future was in the minds of children. The three books that we were required to read for this assignment I believe have the most political significance out of a lot of the books that he wrote. The three books: The Sneetches, The Lorax and Yertle the Turtle all have political messages hidden in them; yes he wrote these books from a political perspective but also kept in mind the children and their enjoyment. He also made sure that a message was sent through these books whether it be from The Sneetches, which was a plea for racial tolerance and political divisions, The Lorax which was a plight for the environment, deforestation, and industrialized society or Yertle the Turtle which was written as a cautionary tale against dictators along with being greddy; he made sure that there was significance in his writings. The tale of The Sneetches deals with two different groups of people or who are also known as “Sneetches.” They have divided themselves into two separate groups that are solely based on one simple thing that separates them, a star on their belly or no star on their belly. The star-belly Sneetches control all the best trappings of society while those without stars are social outcasts. Wanting to fix this problem but not knowing how; along comes Sylvester McMonkey-McBean an entrepreneur with a message and high technology to take advantage of the ridiculous social divide that the Sneetches have made for themselves. His machine simply takes the Sneetches without stars, puts them in the machine, for a certain price of course, and they come out with stars, problem solved; at least for the Sneetches now with new stars. Now having stars they see themselves as equals among the ones with stars. “Were exactly like you! You can’t tell us apart. We’re all just the same, now, you snooty old smarties!” Now the ones with the original stars don’t take to kindly to this new idea and want it fixed. So Sylvester takes the ones with the original stars and removes the stars on their bellies making them once again different from the others, charging each time of course. “Belly stars are no longer in style, what you need is a trip through my Star-Off Machine. This wondrous contraption will take off your stars so you don’t look like Sneetches who have them on thars.” All the Sneetches continued to change back and forth till they all ran out of money. Fortunately, despite being taken advantage of to the last dollar, the Sneetches are able to come together in unity and realize that they were all the same. We can clearly already see the comparison of the story to today’s society with people separating themselves based on color and or ethnicity. In class this was also one of the subjects that we went over that dealt with racial tolerance and divisions among groups. We can really relate this book with today’s society and people wanting to conform not to only be equal but to also be accepted; too many people fall into this trap. Unfortunately the outcome of the Sneetches is usually never the outcome in today’s society; people will always see themselves as different and it has always been like that so I fear that it will never change. Yes we do have differences but when you get down to it we are all just humans. “Now the star-bellied Sneetches had bellies with stars and the plain bellied Sneetches had none upon thars. Those stars weren’t so big they were really so small you might think such a thing wouldn’t matter at all.”
This story has obvious parallels with...
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