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Yertle the Turtle and Other Stories

Yertle the Turtle and Other Stories


by Dr. Seuss

Home Dr Seuss Yertle the Turtle and Other Stories Summary Yertle the Turtle, Lines 1 - 6

Yertle the Turtle and Other Stories Yertle the Turtle, Lines 1 - 6 Summary

The Beginning

  • Ah, this is the nicest kind of beginning isn't it? We're transported to the far-away Island of Sala-ma-Sond, which sounds a lot more appealing than Barbados, if you ask us.
  • The turtles that live here might not drive Maseratis, but they're happy with their simple lot in life, as long as they've got warm water, enough food, and at least a little space for diving into green water with a self-satisfied look on their faces.
  • It would be easy to skip on past this little detail, but let's stop for a moment and think about why Seuss wants us to know this place is "far-away." First, you probably notice that this is a very common technique in folklore, so in choosing the term, Seuss is sending out a flagged email for our mental inboxes that says, "FYI, folks, this story is a part of a greater tradition that's largely reflective of the human condition." Or something like that.
  • So why is this technique so popular in classical storytelling? Because it forces us out of our everyday, humdrum, just-walking-the-line mentality. It allows us to suspend all of our little hang ups and stresses on a neat hook right by the door and be carried away by these dark green waters.
  • The places the current takes us are silly and adventurous, of course. But they also take us to a place where we can look back at who we are as humans without becoming defensive or blustery. Because we're not really talking about ourselves, we're talking about a bunch of turtles. So we can just have fun, right?
  • More on this in the "Writing Style" section.

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