What drives the Yooks and Zooks in The Butter Battle Book to outdo, one-up, and top each other. Competition, that's what. It's all about being bigger, better, and newer than the adversary. Just one problem: this isn't a friendly competition, like when we play Jenga in the Shmoop office (oh who are we kidding, that's not friendly either). This is an all-out arms race, and the winner turns out to be the loser, too, since mutual annihilation doesn't take sides.
Q: Why can't Grandpa and VanItch just talk it out?
A: Sometimes people are just too proud to admit that they might be wrong. Swallowing your pride isn't easy, especially when you're swept up in competition.
Q: Is competition always a bad thing?
A: Nopers. Competition can be a great thing, actually. Capitalists love it, and most of the great gadgets we enjoy were developed as a result of competition between big companies. But watch out—competition can carry us away, too.
Q: Why can't the Yooks and Zooks just work together to make great, useful technology?
A: Good question, little'un. They probably could.