The Limits of Language: Seuss Beyond Zebra

In On Beyond Zebra by Dr. Seuss, Conrad Cornelius o’Donald o’Dell, who is just learning to spell, writes out the alphabet on a chalkboard and says, “The A is for Ape. And the B is for Bear. / The C is for Camel. The H is for Hare.” He knows all the letters through to Z for Zebra. “So now I know everything anyone knows / From beginning to end. From the start to the close. Because Z is as far as the alphabet goes.” In other words, the alphabet allows him to learn about the known animals of the world, the implication being that without the alphabet he may never have known about hares or zebras.

Continue reading “The Limits of Language: Seuss Beyond Zebra”