The Butter Battle Book and the Cold War

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The Butter Battle Book

The Butter Battle Book is a picture book written by Dr. Suess. This book was published in 1984, and it was written as an allegory to the Cold War. It is an anti-war story about the arms race, MAD, and nuclear weapons. This book was written in the Cold War era about the concerns of the time, and how all of life could be destroyed by nuclear war. The Cold War was the time after WWII that involved strong tensions between the Western Bloc and the United States. During the Cold War, the Soviet Union attempted to spread Communism, while the United States' policy was to contain this spread (Containment). To increase tensions further, another fear was nuclear war. Countries feared that nuclear war would destroy their countries and possibly even the world.

This book is about two different races that live on opposite sides of a brick wall. The Yooks and the Zooks are fighting about what side they eat their bread on. The Yooks ate their bread with the butter side up, and the Zooks ate their bread with the butter side down. But one day a Zook by the name of Van Itch slung his sling shot at a Yook's Snickle-Berry-Switch. So the Yook that was on patrol went back to Cheif Yookeroo to get a improved weapon and a fancier suit to go with it. The next day he went back to the wall and Van Itch was there too. He had a better weapon and a better suit too. So Grandpa Yook went crying back to the Chief and again he got improved. The story keeps going in the same order until they come back to the wall with the same weapons and the same suit on...

Dr. Seuss incorporated many connections to the Cold War. The first connection was Grandpa and Van Itch. Grandpa is meant to represent the United States. Grandpa is a general, and since it's a picture book, he stands in for the army. Grandpa's strategy was also to use Containment, like the United States during this time. He never did anything but threaten to use the weapons, he stated: “In those days, of...
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