Fox in Socks
by Dr. Seuss
What’s Up With the Ending?
If the title isn't a dead giveaway, Fox and his rocking socks get all the love in Fox in Socks. But that doesn't mean Knox can't sparkle, too. In fact, Knox gets his moment in the sun right at the end of the book.
Throughout the novel, Knox complains about Fox's word games, claiming that his "tongue isn't made of rubber" (40.3-4) or that he "can't say / such silly stuff" (44.3-4). Instead of helping his friend to play the game better, Fox just says Knox doesn't "have to / be so dumb now" before performing an even more difficult tongue twister. Fox is a showoff, but all showoffs eventually get their just desserts.
At the end of the book, Fox rocks a particularly difficult tongue twister about tweetle beetles, much to the dismay of a befuddled Knox. Then, out of nowhere, Knox lays down the granddaddy of all twisty tongue tomfoolery:
[…] a tweetle beetle
noodle poodle bottled
paddled muddled duddled
fox in socks, sir! (57.1-5)
Then he walks away from a confused Fox in Socks, thanking him for the game and all the fun (58.2-4). What are we supposed to make of all that?
There are a few ways to read the ending. First, it shows Knox's transformation. He goes from someone who doesn't believe in his abilities to a full-blown tongue twisting guru. The change signifies a possible moral of the story: you never know what you can do until you try.
We can also look at Knox as a type of avatar for the reader. Like an orc named Shake'n'Bake in World of Warcraft, Knox represents the reader in the world of Fox in Socks. When we read the book aloud, the victory of that final, insanely difficult tongue twister becomes both Knox's victory and our own. We thank Fox for his game because, hey, we did have a lot of fun reading, didn't we?
What do you think the ending means?