The Sneetches and Other Stories
The Sneetches and Other Stories Tone
Take a story’s temperature by studying its tone. Is it hopeful? Cynical? Snarky? Playful?
Whimsy, Zany Fun
Dr. Seuss is definitely enjoying himself with his writing, so we
should do the same. Just check out this sampling of Seussy goodness:
"And I'll prove to YOU," yelled the South-Going Zax,
"That I can stand here in the prairie of Prax
For fifty-nine years! For I live by a rule
That I learned as a boy back in South-Going School. (Zax.20-23)
Ah, zany nonsense. Who ever heard of a Zax, or a South-Going School for that matter? Even better is that the Zax actually does stand there for fifty-nine years. It's classic Seuss overstatement.
So the number one reason Dr. Seuss chose the tone he did was pure, simple fun. But we're pretty sure there's more to it than that.
Remember school? Okay, good. Now think back to the class in which you learned the absolute most. We're guessing it was the class that was the most fun, right? Well, Seuss is tapping into the same impulse here. Sure, he could just tell you the lesson he wants you to learn—maybe even make you write it out a hundred times in the back of the book. But he'd rather you have fun with the moral. That way, there's a better chance you'll actually take it to heart.