Discrimination

Newspaper article warning of German spies; recruitment trolley.
Newspaper article warning of German spies (left); recruitment trolley.

When America declared war against Germany on April 6, 1917, Ted was just 13 years old. Almost overnight Ted’s family, proud German-Americans were shunned by friends and neighbors. Hatred and discrimination against German-Americans were witnessed all over Springfield and books in German were removed from the library.

The discrimination Ted encountered as a teen in all likelihood had a deep influence on his children’s books in later years. Many who have studied Seuss carefully feel that it is probably most evident in The Sneetches and Other Stories (1961) where a group of Sneetches, who have stars on their bellies, discriminate against Sneetches that don’t have stars on their belly.

The Sneetches book coverIt is thought by many who know Dr. Seuss’s work well that the discrimination Ted encountered as a teen many have deeply influenced his work in books like The Sneetches and Other Stories (1961).

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