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The Sneetches

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  • Pages: 4
  • Word count: 757
  • Category: Religion

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Dr. Seuss is well known for his entertaining childrens books that demonstrated morals concerning serious topics. In 1961 he wrote “The Sneetches” to communicate the serious topic of racism. He uses present real world real time topics that may be difficult to fully grasp, but Seuss uses silly creatures and situations but in a realistic way to make such topics easier to relate with. He demonstrates the morality within such situations and topics. In “The Sneetches” Dr. Seuss uses satire, allusion, and allegory to communicate the serious topic of segregation that exists within the Sneetch society.

In the story “The Sneetches” Dr. Seuss uses satire to communicate the topic of racism in a humorous way in order to teach a moral and to make the topic easier to connect with. Seuss immediately makes the distinction between the Sneetches, “Now, he star-belly Sneetches had bellies with stars. The plain-belly Sneetches had none upon thars.” By making this distinction Seuss demonstrates the difference within the Sneetch society. There is clear evidence demonstrating the racial segregation – “When the star-belly Sneetches had frankfurter roasts they never invited the plain-belly Sneetches.” – Which goes to show that there is segregation between the Sneetches. The star-belly Sneetches continue to communicate discriminatory statements such as, “We are the best kind of Sneetch on the beaches,” and, “We are still the best Sneetches and they are the worst.” The star-bellied Sneetches continue to segregate the plain-belly Sneetches – “You only could play if your bellies had stars,” and, “They kept them away. They never let them come near.” – which continues to convey segregation within the Sneetch society. The fact that Seuss uses funny images to represent humans and makes the ridiculous topic of racism easier to relate to, shows that Seuss does in fact use satire in “The Sneetches.”

Allusion is a connection to a larger idea often related to human behavior. In “The Sneetches” Seuss does demonstrate allusion. In the illustrations, Seuss draws funny looking birds that are used to represent human beings. The Sneetch society is used to represent human society. As humans we tend to segregate into upper, lower, and middle classes. This story was written during the time when racism was most present. There is clear segregation between the Sneetches – “We’ll have nothing to do with the plain-belly sort.” – there is clear segregation into “classes”. As humans during the time of the Civil Rights Movement, segregation was prominent and in the Sneetch society it is just as prominent. We all want to be equal, we want to do whatever it takes to be equal. The plain-belly Sneetches wanted to be equal, “You want stars like a star-belly Sneetch? My friends, you can have them for three dollars each!” The desire to have equality is a human behavior and Seuss demonstrates it in the Sneetch society. When Seuss introduces racial tension he introduces human behavior into the story.

Seuss uses allegory to demonstrate the morality within the racial tension. In order to find equality the Sneetches try to do whatever it takes to become a part of the “upper class” Sneetch society. Mcbean comes and tries to take advantage of the Sneetches situation – “Just pay me your money and hop right aboard. “ – but in the end he made the Sneetches come together as a society. As he departed he says “They will never learn. No. You can’t Teach a Sneetch,” but he was wrong you can teach a Sneetch. In the end, – “The Sneetches got really quite smart on that day. The day that they decided that Sneetches are Sneetches.” – the Sneetches found their equality. The Sneetches faced segregation- “We are the best Sneetch on the beaches.” -and ended up in a horrible mess to keep the segregation- “Through the machines they raced round and about again.” but in the end the Sneetches realized that equality is not a bad thing. Seuss demonstrates the absurdity of the Sneetches behavior and human behavior.

Dr. Seuss wrote “The Sneetches” with intent to communicate the ridiculousness of racism. He uses satire to make this subject easier to understand and relate to. He uses allusion to demonstrate our human behavior and out human mistakes, and allegory to show the lesson within the mistakes we make and that there is hope within situations no matter how hopeless they seem. Seuss was notorious for writing based on current real world real time situations and was frowned upon because of his way of communication.

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