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Dr. Seuss story of The Sneetches
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Sunday, 14 May 2006
Historical Basis Behind The Sneetches
Theodor Geisel aka Dr. Seuss wrote hundreds of children's books. From Yertle the Turtle to Cat in the Hat, these books were loved and cherished by children of all ages. What is often overlooked, though, is the historical basis and true meaning behind the books.

The Sneetches is a book about creatures with stars on their bellies that live with the some of the same creatures that don't have the stars. In the book, the star-bellied Sneetches play the role of 'superior type' while the Sneetches without stars are left out of everything. The starless Sneetches are treated horribly and not thought of as equal. Seuss meant for this to resemble racism and discrimination. The Sneetches only care about what they look like and not who they are; they only care for the way their skin looks.

Now, remember, this book was written shortly after World War 2, shortly after the genocide of millions of Jews based on something they could not control. Not only were Jews discriminated against at that time, but the Japanese, Germans, and Italians were as well. The starless Sneetches were treated almost identically like the Jews, and Seuss wanted to make that clear. He wanted his readers to see exactly what it was people were doing when they discriminated. It should also be noted that the star on the Sneetches was NOT meant to resemble the Star of David that the Jews were forced to wear and that the story was NOT meant to reflect anti-semitism. When Seuss realized that this would quite possibly be misconstrued, he almost threw the book out, but his publisher convinced him to release it.

In the end, after the Sneetches try to change themselves over and over by removing their stars and putting them back on, they realized that it didn't matter if they had a star or not. They realized that they were all Sneetches, all equal, and that they should be treated like it. Seuss wanted us to realize that we are all humans, and all equal, just like the Sneetches.

Posted by planet/thesneetches at 9:31 PM EDT
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Thursday, 11 May 2006

Dr. Seuss

The Sneetches

Now, the Star-Bell Sneetches had bellies with stars.
The Plain-Belly 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.

But, because they had stars, all the Star-Belly Sneetches
Would brag, “We’re the best kind of Sneetch on the beaches.”
With their snoots in the air, they would sniff and they’d snort
“We’ll have nothing to do with the Plain-Belly sort!”
And, whenever they met some, when they were out walking,
They’d hike right on past them without even talking.

When the Star-Belly children went out to play ball,
Could a Plain Belly get in the game? Not at all.
You only could play if your bellies had stars
And the Plain-Belly children had none upon thars.

When the Star Belly Sneetches had frankfurter roasts
Or picnics or parties or marshmallow toasts,
They never invited the Plain-Belly Sneetches
They left them out cold, in the dark of the beaches.
They kept them away. Never let them come near.
And that’s how they treated them year after year.

Then ONE day, it seems while the Plain-Belly Sneetches
Were moping and doping alone on the beaches,
Just sitting there wishing their bellies had stars,
A stranger zipped up in the strangest of cars!

“My friends”, he announced in a voice clear and clean,
“My name is Sylvester McMonkey McBean. And I’ve heard of
Your troubles. I’ve heard you’re unhappy. But I can fix
That I’m the Fix-It-Up Chappie. I’ve come here to help
You. I have what you need. And my prices are low. And
I work with great speed. And my work is one hundred per cent guaranteed!”

Then, quickly, Sylvester McMonkey McBean
Put together a very peculiar machine.
And he said, “You want stars like a Star-Belly Sneetch? My friends, you can
Have them for three dollars each!”

“Just pay me your money and hop right aboard!”
So they clambered inside. Then the big machine roared.
And it klonked. And it bonked. And it jerked. And it berked.
And it bopped them about. But the thing really worked!
When the Plain-Belly Sneetches popped out, they had stars!
They actually did. They had stars upon thars!

Then they yelled at the ones who had stars at the start,
“We’re still the best Sneetches and they are the worst.
But now, how in the world will we know”, they all frowned,
“If which kind is what, or the other way round?”

Then up came McBean with a very sly wink. And he said, “Things
are not quite as bad as you think. So you don’t know who’s who.
That is perfectly true. But come with me, friends. Do you know
what I’ll do? I’ll make you, again, the best Sneetches on the beaches.
And all it will cost you is ten dollars eaches.”

“Belly stars are no longer in style”, said McBean.
“What you need is a trip through my Star-Off Machine. This
Wondrous contraption will take OFF your stars so you won’t
Look like Sneetches that have them on thars.”
And that handy machine working very precisely
Removed all the stars from their tummies quite nicely.

Then, with snoots in the air, they paraded about. And they opened
Their beaks and they let out a shout, “We know who is who! Now there
Isn’t a doubt. The best kind of Sneetches are Sneetches without!”

Then, of course, those with stars got all frightfully mad.
To be wearing a star was frightfully bad. Then, of course, old
Sylvester McMonkey McBean invited THEM into his Star-Off Machine.

Then, of course from THEN on, as you probably guess,
Things really got into a horrible mess.

All the rest of that day, on those wild screaming beaches,
The Fix-It-Up Chappie kept fixing up Sneetches.
Off again! On again! In again! Out again!
Through the machines they raced round and about again,
Changing their stars every minute or two. They kept paying money.
They kept running through until the Plain nor the Star-Bellies knew
Whether this one was that one or that one was this one. Or which one
Was what one or what one was who.

Then, when every last cent of their money was spent,
The Fix-It-Up Chappie packed up. And he went. And he laughed as he drove
In his car up the beach, “They never will learn. No. You can’t
Teach a Sneetch!”

But McBean was quite wrong. I’m quite happy to say.
That the Sneetches got really quite smart on that day.
The day they decided that Sneetches are Sneetches.
And no kind of Sneetch is the best on the beaches.
That day, all the Sneetches forgot about stars and whether
They had one, or not, upon thars.

Posted by planet/thesneetches at 2:30 PM EDT
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