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Meaning of these Dr. Seuss quotes in your own words?  "Sometimes the questions are...

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noellejonz197 | Student, Grade 10 | eNotes Newbie

Posted March 22, 2011 at 12:31 PM via web

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Meaning of these Dr. Seuss quotes in your own words?


"Sometimes the questions are complicated and the answers are complex."

"I meant what I said and I said what I meant. An elephant's faithful one hundred percent."

"I'm afraid sometimes you'll play lonely games too, games you can't win because you'll play against you."


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literaturenerd | High School Teacher | (Level 2) Educator Emeritus

Posted August 13, 2011 at 2:20 AM (Answer #2)

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For the first quote, one must understand the difference between the words "complicated" and "complex". Complicated refers to something which is difficult to explain or analyze. Complex is made up of complicated parts. Therein, something complicated can become complex if multiple complications are involved.

To address the quote, a question is complicated when is involves explanations and analysis. Not all questions are complicated through, only "sometimes".  That being said, the answers to complicated questions are complex give one must not only analyze the question, they must take into consideration all aspects and assumptions the question asks. Therefore, multiple complications can arise and an answer becomes complex.

To address quote two, the second part of the quote is easiest to explain: no matter what, an elephant always remains truthful. As for the first part, Horton (the speaker of the line) is simply letting the listener know that no matter how one bends it, he meant what he said. This comes from the confusions which can arise when the verbal (stated) message does not match up with a nonverbal message. Sometimes we say what we want others to hear and do not necessarily say what we mean.

The last quote refers to the fact that the speaker has been in a place of solitude and knows that it is not a healthy place to be. He/she is telling the listener that he/she worries that the place that they are in in life is not a good one because without help you cannot "win" (or get better).

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