© 2016 Shmoop University, Inc. All rights reserved.
Yertle the Turtle and Other Stories

Yertle the Turtle and Other Stories


by Dr. Seuss

Dr. Uncle Dake

Character Analysis

Oh, kindly Uncle Dake. He's just sitting there in his nest, twiddling his thumbs and waiting for retirement when Gertrude flies in and throws her tantrums. This guy has classic normative character written all over him—and adult, too. You know how we know? He's pretty calm throughout this whole thing, knowing the kind of pressures that young birds are under. And yet he doesn't react like an equal, saying, "Yeah, that's pretty bad." Instead, he responds as though he's looking back. More like, "I've seen it all, and I'm tellin' ya this is pretty ridiculous."

That's why he admonishes poor Gertrude with a gentle, "Tut, tut!", tells her that such talk is "absurd," and tries his best to get her to see that she's just fine how she is (18, 19).

But, like all parental figures, he knows that Gertrude has to go on her own little journey—to fly pretty high and fall even harder—in order to see what he does. And, like a good parent, he's there to save the day in the end, rushing to the scene with extra birds to carry her home, even though he knew this was going to happen. Because that's what good parental figures do.

People who Shmooped this also Shmooped...