Yertle the Turtle and Other Stories
by Dr. Seuss
Yertle the Turtle and Other Stories Jealousy and Competition Quotes
How we cite our quotes:
But while he was shouting, he saw with surprise
That the moon of the evening was starting to rise
Up over his head in the darkening skies.
"What's THAT?" snorted Yertle. (Yertle.75-78)
Here we go: the first time the mighty Yertle has received a true threat to his power. Yes, there is something higher than him. And he doesn't like it. That's why he "snorts" the word "THAT" in all caps. He knows that the moon is trouble, and he wants what his competitor has.
For there was another young bird that she knew,
A fancy young birdie named Lolla-Lee-Lou,
And instead of one feather behind, she had two!
Poor Gertrude! Whenever she happened to spy
Miss Lolla-Lee-Lou flying by in the sky
She got very jealous. She frowned and she pouted. (McFuzz.5-10)
On your mark. Get set. Rev that jealousy. And let the competition begin! There is jealousy baked into this passage from the get go. Can't you just see Gertrude sneering at the word "fancy"? And check out those italics when comparing Gertrude's one feather to Lolla-Lee-Lou's two. No wonder she pouts, frowns and is jealous. She's not happy with what she has, and she hates anyone who is. We'll take a nice big serving of jealousy and top it off with vanity, please.
And then Gertrude yelled, "WHEE!
Miss Lolla has only just two! I have three!
When Lolla-Lee-Lou sees this beautiful stuff,
She'll fall right down flat on her face, sure enough!
I'll show HER who's pretty! I certainly will!
Why, I'll make my tail even prettier still!" (McFuzz.38-43)
Did anyone ever think about how Lolla-Lee-Lou feels about all of this? There she is, just flying through the sky, and now she's the most hated bird on earth. See what we mean about jealousy expressing itself through competition? Gertrude isn't happy to have another tail just because it boosts her confidence. She's happy about it because she's jealous of Lolla, and now she can't wait to make Lolla jealous of her. That's why she can't wait to show off to her competitor—to "show HER [note the caps!] who's pretty." Gertrude will only be happy when she's better than the bird she's jealous of… or so she thinks.