One Fish Two Fish Red Fish Blue Fish
by Dr. Seuss
Symbolism, Imagery, Allegory
Sure, there are tons of outlandish things going in in One Fish Two Fish Red Fish Blue Fish, from walking fish to a boxing Gox. But the first odd creature we meet is the one we're really interested in. Who's that, you ask? Why, the eleven-fingered one, of course:
This is something new.
I wish I had
eleven, too! (66-69)
His difference is so subtle, so insignificant. He's got eleven fingers—so what? We've got ten. Big whoop.
Well, it's the reaction to his eleven fingers that really jumps out. Rather than saying ick! or weird!, our narrator is all about this eleven fingers business. In fact, he wishes he had eleven, too.
We're not sure what the real bonus of having eleven fingers might be,but that declaration of acceptance and wanting to be different is just plain admirable. And in fact, it colors all the rest of the story.
Sure, the creature with eleven fingers may be a little bit of, well, a freak. But he's a memorable one. Every time we encounter a new creature with a new oddity, he pops up in our heads. We think back to that eleven-fingered figure and say to ourselves, hey, if he's all right by the young'uns, then he's fine by me, too. That funny-fingered fellow teaches us the finer points of embracing diversity.