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The Butter Battle Book

The Butter Battle Book


by Dr. Seuss

The Butter Battle Book Lines 9-29 Summary

There's More than One Way to Butter your Bread

  • So what's the deal with this Wall dividing Yook from Zook? Why does Grandpa seem so bummed out? 
  • We learn that the Wall was built to keep the Zooks out. But it could've also been built to keep the Yooks in—we're not sure. 
  • One thing's clear, though: there's no love between Yook and Zook because, as Grandpa tells the young Yook, "In every Zook house and in every Zook town / every Zook eats his bread / with the butter side down" (16-18). 
  • Yooks, on the other hand, eat their bread "with the butter side up" (22). 
  • Seems silly, right? Why can't they get along even though they eat their bread differently? 
  • The drawing of the Zooks doesn't look too frightening. As a matter of fact, they look very much like the Yooks, just with different colored clothes. 
  • The problem is that little differences like this very quickly translate to value judgments. 
  • Grandpa says the Yook way of buttering bread is "the right, honest way!" (23). But the Zooks' way of buttering bread is a "terribly horrible thing" (15).
  • Of course, judging actions is a slippery slope to making dangerous generalizations as Grandpa does when he explains, "Every Zook must be watched! / He has kinks in his soul!" (26-27)
  • So Grandpa does what he thinks must be done and joins the "Zook-Watching Border Patrol" (29). Sounds like trouble.

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