An Analysis Of The Sneetches By Doctor Seuss
Would you ever guess that your favorite childhood author had written an allegory about a dreadful moment in history--the Holocaust. In his book “The Sneetches” Dr. Seuss wrote about two different groups of Sneetches. One of these groups had a star on their bellies while the other were plain. The Sneetches with stars on their bellies viewed themselves as better than the rest. Star-bellied Sneetches never associated themselves with the plain bellied Sneetches. Until one day a man named Sylvester McMonkey McBean came to help these sad plain bellied Sneetches. He told them he could give them stars like the star bellied Sneetches and the plain Sneetches listened. They paid this man, and he put them through a machine and popped them out with a once plain belly now tattooed with a star. The original star-bellied Sneetches did not like that they were exactly the same as the rest. So they paid Sylvester to have the stars removed. This happened over and over, stars on stars off, and the cycle continued. Once Sylvester packed up and left the Sneetches realized these stars were silly, and truly they do not mean anything important. They are all alike with or without stars. At first, I bet you didn't pick up that this was an allegory about discrimination towards the Jews. Dr. Seuss was trying to get the message out that Once you get over the way people look, you can live alongside each other with no problems.
This story has a much deeper meaning than it first leads on. Hitler always compared the way people looked to how they should be treated. So how the Sneetches with stars on their belly acted like they were high class is how Hitler had the Aryans acting over the Jews. The Nazis believed that all of history was a fight between races. The star bellied Sneetches states ” We’re the best kind of Sneetch on the beaches” (Seuss). Hitler had everyone convinced that the Jews were lesser of people just because of their religion. “We’ll have nothing to do with the plain belly sort!” (Seuss). The star-bellied Sneetech wanted nothing to do with fellow Sneetches just because they didn't have a star. This relates to how most Germans never associated themselves with the Jewish community and culture. The Germans would not buy their products nor shop at their stores. The Germans also totally banned Jewish enrollment in all schools. The star bellied Sneetches also had picnics and parties and played games without the other plain Sneeetches.They did not include the plain bellied Sneetches in their activities. The Germans were treated significantly better than the Jews. For example The Reich Citizen law took away the Jewish peoples rights of voting and more, but this law did not affect people of 100% German blood. So the way the Star bellied acted and treated the Plain bellied Sneetches is similar to how the Germans treated the Jewish community.
Dr. Seuss took what was happening during World War 11 and turned it into a children's book. Lots of similarities from this time were referred to in this. One Similarity is the yellow stars on the Sneethces belly. If you had a star on you were a Sneetch with a star on your belly in this book you were accepted but during the holocaust the yellow star was to let everybody know you were a Jew. This allowed for the Jewish people to be easily spotted in public. While wearing a star in Germany had a negative outlook the Sneetches with the stars were the ones that were seen as better. The Germans wanted to humiliate the Jewish people by having the star of David put on them. This star was such a small thing that had such a big impact on not only the Jewish people but also to Sneetches. “Those stars weren’t so big. They were really so small You might think such a thing wouldn’t matter at all” (Seuss). These yellow stars determined if people of Sneetches were worthy of basic rights and to be treated fairly.
As you can see at first read you may not catch on about the similarities between of the Jewish community and the discrimination of the plain bellied Sneetches. Dr. Seuss was trying to explain that why do we decide how we should treat people based on their religion, looks etc. Hitler told everyone the Jews were not worthy of the basic respect that everyone deserved is like how the Sneetches with stars didn't treat their peers with any respect. So next time you pick up a Dr. Seuss book, look deeper into the lines.