The Butter Battle Book
by Dr. Seuss
The Butter Battle Book Theme of Technology & Modernization
When you think of technology, iGadgets and smart tablets probably come to mind. Or maybe things with the word nano in them. But in the early-20th century, the pursuit of superior technology led to some major international aggression. And instead of churning out Angry Birds, these people created weapons of mass destruction—just like the Yooks and Zooks in The Butter Battle Book. Seriously, who really needs a weapon that can cause mutual annihilation? Nobody, that's who.
Questions and Answers
Q: What kind of technology do we have?
A: We at Shmoop can remember a day when cell phones weren't so portable and the Internet didn't exist. Now, it's hard to find people who don't have cell phones, and there is some competition between even close friends over who has the newest greatest gadget. Apple has made a killing off this instinct. The question is, how much of this technology is really useful and how much is too much?
Q: How does technology relate to competition and arms-racy stuff?
A: We mentioned earlier that the contemporary arms race is over super-computer technology. Also, you see cellphone and computer companies competing with one another over the newest technologies. While few of these are violent conflicts like that between the Yooks and Zooks, but there is certainly a ton of conflict that plays itself out in legal battles and industrial espionage.
Q: But is technology really bad? How has technological development and modernization helped us?
A: One word: pasteurization. We live in a considerably more comfortable world than our ancestors did due to our technologies. Let's face it. Life's pretty comfy in a technologically advanced nation. We've even got a meme addressing "first-world problems," suggesting that the problems people living in developed nations aren't really that significant compared to those of basic survival that technology has addressed.