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Literature / I Had Trouble in Getting to Solla Sollew

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"Young fellow, what has happened to you
Has happened to me and to other folks, too.
So I'll tell you what I have decided to do…
I'm off to the City of Solla Sollew
On the banks of the beautiful River Wah-Hoo,
Where they never have troubles! At least, very few.
It's not very far.
And my camel is strong.
He'll get us there fast.
So hop on! Come along!"
The Wubble chap
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I Had Trouble In Getting To Solla Sollew is a story written and illustrated by Dr. Seuss that was first published in 1965. It's a The Hero's Journey story, chronicling an unnamed protagonist's Trauma Conga Line as he searches for Utopia, and learns that Grass Is Greener.


This book provides examples of:

  • Action Survivor: The protagonist.
  • An Aesop: Don't run away from your problems.
  • Arc Words: "Solla Sollew, on the banks of the beautiful River Wah-Hoo, where they never have troubles! At least, very few."
  • Badass Boast: The closing lines. "Now my troubles are going/To have troubles with ME!"
  • Boring Return Journey: The narrative jumps from Solla Sollew straight back to the Valley of Vung.
  • Brains and Brawn: The Wubble chap invokes this in the name of "teamwork". Conveniently, this allows him to sit back and bark out orders while the hero does all the heavy work.
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  • Cats Are Mean: The Perilous Poozer of Pompelmoose Pass, which has the appearance of a lion. What's worse is that there are more of them.
  • Citadel City: Solla Sollew is one. Deconstructed, as it means that a single problem with the single door in and out is enough to turn the city on its head.
  • Conscription: The main character is drafted to join the war against the Perilous Poozer of Pompelmoose Pass.
    General Genghis Kahn Schmitz:
    There's a war going on! And it's time that you knew
    Every lad in this land has his duty to do.
  • Crapsack World: Solla Sollew will have to eventually descend into this, what with a Key-Slapping Slippard in the keyhole of their only door and there being superstition around killing the little bastard.
  • Cue the Rain: How could walking over 100 miles to Solla Sollew be worse? If it were raining.
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  • Darker and Edgier: This was the start of Seuss's more somber stories, although it's still fairly light. The ending is especially unusual: Instead of a happy ending in Solla Sollew like most children's books would have, the protagonist discovers that the door is locked and the doorman cannot unlock it because of a Key Slapping Slippard in the door. It even considers the possibility of killing the Slippard, noticeably averting Never Say "Die" in the process.
  • Feathered Fiend: The Quilligan Quail.
  • Foreshadowing: The refrain about Solla Sollew says that they have no troubles or "at least, very few." This gives an early hint that Solla Sollew is not the perfect place it's said to be.
  • Here We Go Again!: Averted. Rather than risk another arduous, fruitless venture, the hero passes on the trip to Boola Boo Ball and returns home instead.
  • The Hero's Journey: The story takes this form, beginning with the main character running away from his problems, and ends with him growing up and facing them. It chronicles his departure, journey, and return.
  • Jerk with a Heart of Gold: The Wubble driver is an unusual case. We see his "heart of gold" side first, when he invites the hero to join him on his journey. Only when the going gets tough do we learn that he isn't quite as selfless as he initially appeared (see Brains and Brawn above).
  • Journey to Find Oneself: At the end of the book, the main character grows up and stops running away from his problems.
  • Miles Gloriosus: General Genghis Khan Schmitz and his soldiers.
  • No Name Given: The story is told in first person, and the main character's name is never given.
  • The Promised Land/Utopia: Solla Sollew is supposed to be one. It gets deconstructed, and after that, Boola Boo Ball is said to be one, though it is implied that it probably isn't really one either.
  • Reality Ensues: At the beginning, the narrator trips over a rock and thinks he will stay out of trouble forever if he keeps looking forward. This doesn't stop a quail from biting his tail from behind, a mosquito from stinging his neck from above, or a gopher from biting his toe from below.
  • Rhyming with Itself: A variation. At one point, "position" is rhymed with "physician".
  • Screw This, I'm Outta Here!: The story is full of people making decisions like this.
    • The story begins when the protagonist decides to leave home in this fashion.
    • Implied that the Wubble chap left home in a similar fashion.
    • The chap who leaves his home to avoid the Midwinter Jicker.
    • General Genghis Kahn Schmitz when he sees the Poozers.
    • The gatekeeper of Solla Sollew at the end.
  • Trauma Conga Line: The whole book is one long series of random woes that befall the main character.
  • War Is Glorious: General Genghis Kahn Schmitz thinks so for one page before it gets deconstructed.
  • Your Princess Is in Another Castle!: Solla Sollew is not the city of no troubles that it was claimed to be… but Boola Boo Ball is. Subverted, in that the main character stops there, and doesn't go on to Boola Boo Ball.

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