The Narcissism of Minor Differences

Now, the Star-Belly Sneetches Had bellies with stars. The Plain-Belly Sneetches Had none upon thars.  Those stars weren’t so big. They were really so small You might think such a thing wouldn’t matter at all.

It is precisely the little dissimilarities in persons who are otherwise alike that arouse feelings of strangeness and enmity between them.

Sigmund Freud
The Taboo of Virginity (1918)

Illustration by Dr. Seuss: From the Hebrew translation of The Sneetches and Other Stories (1961)

English original:

Now, the Star-Belly Sneetches
Had bellies with stars.
The Plain-Belly Sneetches
Had none upon thars.

Those stars weren’t so big. They were really so small
You might think such a thing wouldn’t matter at all.

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One thought on “The Narcissism of Minor Differences

  1. I’ve recently traveled from India (where I live) to the United States for a vacation and I can sense a strange phenomenon inside me – I’ve always abhorred any kind of prejudice & stereotyping based on racial differences…but then, I live in a country where race is hardly an issue. Then I come to the US – especially NY and there are all kinds of races everywhere and my mind begins to do this strange ‘sifting’ out of what makes one distinct from the other…and I’m watching myself suddenly acquire a heightened sense of ‘difference’ and I think – Ah, this is where it all starts…if I take this any further, I’ll forget what makes us all the same and will start hating on the other…scary.
    This is one of the nicest blogs I have on my blogroll. Thanks so much!

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