The Sneetches and Other Stories
by Dr. Seuss
The Sneetches and Other Stories Theme of Prejudice
We can discriminate over pretty silly stuff: the types of cars we drive, the sparkly stones we buy, where we were born, how we spit our words… and on and on in an endless list of absurdity. When you lay it all out, stars on tummies as a marker for prejudice doesn't seem all that farfetched. But we still recognize how pointless the Sneetches' discrimination is. Why? Because we don't have stars on our belly buttons.
And that's how prejudice works, isn't it? When it's someone else's prejudice, it's utterly pointless. Our own? Well, that's another matter entirely—except that it isn't. Thankfully, "The Sneetches" provides a zany way for us to discuss the nature of prejudice with children. And each other.
Questions and Answers
Q: Why do the Sneetches have stars?
A: To accessorize. It's like people wearing earrings or Shmoop t-shirts.
Q: Why won't the Star-Belly Sneetches invite the other Sneetches to their party?
A: The Star-Belly Sneetches want to feel important. Sometimes, people feel important when they get to go to things other people can't. Don't try this at home.
Q: Why do the Star-Belly Sneetches take their stars off?
A: Remember that feeling of importance we talked about? Well, they don't want to lose that feeling. They're being greedy, but with a feeling rather than with money.
Q: Do you think the Sneetches will remain friends?
A: Here's hoping.