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Yertle the Turtle and Other Stories
Yertle the Turtle and Other Stories
by Dr. Seuss

Yertle the Turtle and Other Stories Yertle the Turtle, Lines 48 – 54 Summary

The Dictator Comes Out

  • This has got to be the saddest scene in the whole story.
  • It's easy for us to see how ridiculous Yertle is, "bellowing" and "braying" (48). This is right in line with dictatorial behavior. Just look to Hitler screaming in German as a stray lock of hair falls into his face, Gadaffi with his over the top outfits and his tendency to, um, pass gas during interviews, Saddam Hussein's literary efforts and Kim Jong Il's claim of inventing the hamburger. Let's face it. From The Dictator of Wadiya to Woody Allen's totally bananas leading guy, dictators are nuts.
  • But it's easy for us, Matt Stone, and Trey Parker to guffaw at dictatorial behavior, since we don't very well have to suffer the consequences of their delusions. The turtles do, and we can see their fear in the way they "tremble" and "shake" and then "obey" (50) anyway. It's two hundred plus turtles against this one selfish king, and yet they clearly feel powerless to do anything but submit to the stack.
  • Yes, truly the saddest stanza in the story.
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