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The Butter Battle Book

The Butter Battle Book


by Dr. Seuss

The Butter Battle Book Lines 71-109 Summary

The Best Offense is a Good Offense

  • VanItch's new weapon takes the wind out of Grandpa's sails, and he returns again to Chief Yookeroo. 
  • Of course, the Chief isn't worried. Why should he be? It's not like he's got to go to the Wall. 
  • Instead of fretting, he says, "Slingshots, dear boy / are not modern enough" (76-77). 
  • Great! Modernization it is! Everyone loves new toys. 
  • They come up with a gun that's carried by a dog named Daniel. Poor little guy.
  • Grandpa gets new, fancy clothes and is sent back to the front with the gun and the dog. 
  • This time, Grandpa is accompanied by fanfare. The arms race has spread to the other Yooks, and they cheer, "Fight! Fight for the Butter Side Up! / Do or Die!" (97-8). At least they're having fun, right?
  • Were all the Yooks supporting Grandpa before? We don't know, but they're interested now, and they've definitely got team spirit.
  • But again, VanItch is one step ahead. 
  • As Grandpa arrives at the Wall, he finds VanItch there on an eight-barreled contraption that's carried by elephants. Did Horton get a day job? Not likely.
  • Grandpa calls VanItch an "old pig" (103). This name calling might fit the rhyme scheme, but it's hard to ignore the dehumanization that starts happening here.
  • This ugly shift is an important aspect of the conflict and it's equally important that the rhetoric changes as the weapons become lethal. 
  • Needless to say, VanItch's weapon scares the pants off Grandpa and Daniel. They take off in a hurry.

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