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Bartholomew and the Oobleck

Bartholomew and the Oobleck


by Dr. Seuss

Bartholomew and the Oobleck Paragraph 1 Summary

Setting the Stage 

  • And we're off! Seuss lets us know right off the bat that what we're about to hear is a whopper of a tale. So big, in fact, that the whole Kingdom of Didd is still talking about it, even though it's been an undisclosed number of years. Now that's staying power.
  • The Doc uses a few classic storytelling devices to get us into the mood for a classic morality tale. First, he chooses an archaic title for his kingdom (the "Kingdom of Didd," not "Didd Kingdom"), which sounds like a cheesy theme park.
  • This may sound obvious, but try using the word "of" in front of your adjectives and see how ye olde Englishy it makes things sound. That's, "Once there was a girl of great beauty" as opposed to, "Once there was a pretty gal. Hot dawg!" Or, "In a town of great repute" versus "One pretty great town." "Of" is one of the most commonly used grammatical constructions in classic folklore, and Seuss embraces his little prepositional friend wholeheartedly. And, hark! Of this we are glad.
  • Likewise, the Doc goes all out with the literal naming, hearkening back to "The-Year-the-King-Got-Angry-with-the-Sky" rather than "1965." Pretty folklore-y, right?
  • Repetition also runs amuck, with the name "Bartholomew Cubbins" repeated twice in a very short period of time and "that" repeated before "King," "Sky" and "little Kingdom." These are all nifty tricks for making us feel familiar with the characters and the situation right off the bat. Because, you see, we already know which one we're talking about—that one. No introductions required.

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