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Charbok
10-21-2007, 10:12 PM
My third (and probably not final) proof read.

The Political Dr. Seuss
By Austin McLaughlin

Dr. Theodore Seuss Geisel, more commonly known as “Dr. Seuss,” is world renowned as one of the greatest children’s book authors of all time. Arguably his most famous book,
The Cat in the Hat, became a school-wide phenomenon instantaneously for its readability, housing a vocabulary of only 236 unique words, and its goofy, memorable stories that allowed children to have fun reading. But there is more to Dr. Seuss than his brightly colored rhyming pages show off hand. Many of Dr. Seuss’ books have a very political structure in an easy to read form which allowed people to look back and really see what they were doing from a goofy, colorful standpoint. From his early life and his transition into
a political cartoonist, to his later life when he began children’s books, Dr. Seuss has been studied very closely by a number of people to find out exactly what he was trying to accomplish through his politically driven books.

Seuss began his life in Springfield Massachusetts, the son of Theodor Robert and Henrietta Seuss Geisel. He graduated from Dartmouth College in 1925, and entered Lincoln College, Oxford, intending to earn a doctorate in literature. However, before finishing his studies, he met a young woman named Helen Palmer, married her, and decided to return to the United States in 1927. After living with his wife for a few years, he began writing humorous articles to Judge, a humor magazine and had his first work published shortly afterwards. He did not adopt the pen name of “Dr. Seuss” until six months later.
In 1936, at the dawn of World War II, Seuss sailed back to Europe and wrote his first children’s book, And to Think That I Saw It on Mulberry Street, which he claims was inspired by the rhythm of the ship’s engines. Seuss wrote three more children's books before the Second World War (The 500 Hats of Bartholomew Cubbins New York: Vanguard Press, 1938. The King's Stilts New York: Random House, 1939) two of which are, atypically for him, in prose.

In 1940, when World War II officially began, Seuss turned his attention to the war effort and began drawing and writing political cartoons which opposed to viciousness of Hitler and Mussolini. Over the next two years, Seuss wrote more than 400 cartoons which ranged from the opposition of Hitler, to the depiction of Japanese Americans as traitors. By 1932, his 400 cartoons were turned into posters, posted in boot camps and city streets, and put in local newspapers across the U.S.A.

After drawing more than 400 cartoons, Seuss worked drawing posters for the Treasury Department and the War Production Board. Soon after, in 1943, he joined the Army and was sent to Frank Capra's Signal Corps Unit in Hollywood, where he wrote films for the United States Armed Forces, including "Your Job in Germany," a 1945 propaganda film about peace in Europe after World War II, "Design for Death," a study of Japanese culture that won the Academy Award for Best Documentary in 1948, and the Private Snafu series of army training films. While in the Army he was awarded the Legion of Merit for educational and informational films.

Dr. Seuss's non-military films from around this time were also well received; Gerald McBoing-Boing, the story of a little boy who speaks through sound effects instead of spoken words, won the Academy Award for Best Short Subject (Animated) in 1951.
At the same time, an important development occurred that influenced much of Seuss's later work. In May 1954, Life magazine published a report on illiteracy among school children, which concluded that children were not learning to read because their books were boring, such as the “Dick and Jane” series, a relatively boring story about two young kids. Accordingly, Seuss's publisher made up a list of 400 words he felt were important and asked Dr. Seuss to cut the list to 250 words and write a book using only those words. Nine months later, Seuss, using 220 of the words given to him, completed The Cat in the Hat. This book was a “tour de force”— it retained the drawing style, verse rhythms, and all the imaginative power of Seuss's earlier works, but because of its simplified vocabulary could be read by beginning readers.

In 1960 Bennett Cerf, publisher and co-founder of Random House, bet Dr. Seuss $50 that he couldn't write an entire book using only fifty words. The result was Green Eggs and Ham. Curiously, Cerf never paid him the $50. These two books, which became a landmark in child learning, achieved significant international success, and remain very popular in the present day.

It wasn’t until the late 1950’s when Seuss decided to combine his two careers, political and children’s, when he wrote “Yertle the Turtle”, a book that is clearly based off of fascism, and more specifically, the Hitler regime.

The story revolves around a turtle named Yertle (hence the name of the book) who is the king of a pond. He commands the other turtles to stack themselves beneath him so he may have a throne high enough to see and rule over more land "'most a mile" around. A little turtle named Mack, who is standing at the bottom of the pile, complains, "I know, up on top you are seeing great sights, but down here at the bottom we, too, should have rights." Yertle refuses to listen to Mack's pleas and commands more and more turtles to add to his throne. When Yertle notices the moon rise above him as the night approaches, he decides to call for 5,607 more turtles for the stack to try to rise above it. However, before he can give the command, Mack, strained and angry, burps, shaking the stack of turtles and tossing Yertle off into the mud. The story ends with: "And the turtles, of course... all the turtles are free, as turtles and, maybe, all creatures should be.”

Of course, we can clearly see the resemblance between our “Yertle” and Hitler. It is said by Seuss himself that Yertle was strictly modeled off of Hitler and Nazism. The book explained Seuss’ feelings about fascism and Nazis in particular.

Seuss’ second obvious political children’s book is “The Sneetches” which tells the story of the star bellied sneetches and the sneetches who have no stars upon their bellies. In the beginning of the story the presence or absence of a star is the basis for discrimination. Sneetches who have stars on their bellies are part of the "in crowd", while Sneetches without stars are shunned. As time goes on, a "fix-it-up chappie" named Sylvester McMonkey McBean appears, driving a car of strange machines. He offers the Sneetches without stars a chance to have them by going through his Star-On machine, for three dollars. The old star-bellied Sneetches are furious until McBean tells them about his Star-Off machine, costing ten dollars. This escalates, with the Sneetches running from one machine to the next,

"Until neither the Plain nor the Star-Bellies knew
Whether this one was that one or that one was this one
Or which one was what one... or what one was who."

From “The Sneetches and Other Stories”


We can see the political resemblance in this story as well. Written in 1961, when African Americans were beginning to rise up against racism, The Sneetches is an obvious lesson about racism and unjust discrimination.

The third and arguably most important of his stories is “The Lorax”, which teaches us a lesson about industrialization and how we should be more appreciative when it comes to natural resources. In the story, a boy comes to a dark, desolate corner of town called the street of the “Lifted Lorax," to learn who the Lorax was and how he got "lifted and taken away." Through a "whisper-ma-phone," a fictional means of communication, the Once-ler tells the boy what happened. When the Once-ler first arrived at this place, it was a beautiful, sunny forest where the Swomee-Swans sang, the Humming-Fish hummed, and the Brown Bar-ba-loots played in the shade while eating the fruit of the Truffula Trees, colorful woolly trees spread throughout the area. Entranced by these gorgeous trees, the Once-ler built a small shop, where he chopped down a tree and knitted a Thneed, an odd-looking but versatile garment that he insisted "everyone needs." Out of the stump popped a strange little man called the Lorax, who claimed to "speak for the trees." The Lorax first scoffed at the Once-ler's creation, until someone came along and bought it. Spurred by greed, the Once-ler invited all his relatives to town where they started a huge Thneed-making business, chopping down Truffula Trees left and right, much to the Lorax's distress. The skies gradually got darker and more polluted, forcing the Lorax to send the Bar-ba-loots, the swans, and the fish off in search of a better place to live. The Once-ler, while upset to see the animals go, dismissed the Lorax's pleadings until the last Truffula Tree got chopped down, leaving the Once-ler alone with the Lorax and a failed business in a desolate place under a dark smoggy sky. With a "sad backward glance," the Lorax picked himself up by the "seat of his pants" and floated away through a hole in the smog. At the end of the story, the Once-ler reveals that he has one last Truffula seed left, and instructs the boy to start a new forest so that "the Lorax and all of his friends may come back."
Being the longest of the three stories, The Lorax gives us an easy way to look back and see what we’re doing to our earth and our resources. It not only talks about industrialization, but also means of advertisement that people use to fixate us on a product. While reading the story, we can clearly see that a Thneed is not a necessary or even useful item to the inhabitants, and we know that we wouldn’t buy one because we are too smart to fall for such a thing. However, when we step back from the story and look at our own action, which is something that many people fail to do, we realize that we have fallen for the same stupid trick as the inhabitants in the land of the Lorax.

What Dr. Seuss does in his books is show us common sense, which we will agree upon because it is common sense, and then he will apply it to a real-world scenario, which shows us what we are doing wrong. For instance, in the 1960’s, when people read “The Sneetches” they probably thought “Boy is it ever stupid to be mean to those sneetches just because they don’t have stars on their bellies”, then when someone comes up to them and makes them realize that they were doing the same thing with African Americans, people will notice that they’re doing just as much wrong as Dr. Seuss’ little yellow birds were in the story. What this forces people to do is make a choice: They can either live as a hypocrite, or they change their ways. Either way, Seuss wins because if they choose the latter, then equality gets spread around, and if they choose the first one, they will be liars and that is punishment enough.

Let’s take a final look at “The Lorax”. The Lorax is almost too obviously a story about industrialization, and everyone who reads it should see that. The true beauty with the book lies in the very beginning and the very end when we see the Once-ler.
In the beginning, we see a very sad, dark and lonely world with but one creature that lives there. As we read, the Lorax appears and warns the Once-ler about the dangers of cutting down the truffula trees, which of course we all know is bad. In this, the Lorax “speaks for the trees” which causes us to look at him as a symbol of nature’s beauty, or even Mother Nature. At the end of the book, the Lorax floats away through one last hole in the smog and is never seen again. This is where the true influence comes in the book. The Lorax uses symbolism, and shows us exactly what has been lost through our actions. We see how the beautiful truffula trees are all gone, how the blue sky has been covered by smog, and how the majestic Swomee-Swans are forced out of their home because of it.

Dr. Seuss went on to write many other children's books, both in his new simplified-vocabulary manner (sold as "Beginner Books") and in his older, more elaborate style. The Beginner Books were not easy for Seuss, and reportedly he labored for months crafting them.

At various times Seuss also wrote books for adults that used the same style of verse and pictures: The Seven Lady Godivas, Oh, The Places You'll Go!, and his final book You're Only Old Once, a satire of hospitals and the geriatric lifestyle.
Following a very difficult illness, Helen Palmer Geisel committed suicide on October 23, 1967. Seuss married Audrey Stone Diamond on June 21, 1968. Seuss himself died, following several years of illness, in La Jolla, California on September 24, 1991.

From his early political cartoons, which are an obvious example of his politically driven career, to his children’s books which caused people to look back on themselves and realize who they were, Theodore Seuss Geisel was, without a doubt, an influential, and important part not only of children’s lives, but the lives of teachers, parents and common folk alike.

TheEvilDookie
10-21-2007, 10:13 PM
Could you make a really short summary of all that, cause i really dont wanna read it xD

Black Label
10-21-2007, 10:37 PM
Well if you want to be a good editer, you have to.

off topic:what the heck is that avitar dookie?

DragoniteMistress
10-21-2007, 10:41 PM
KB: Save it for PM

That is simply something. It seems to be a college-level paper, at least. The whole thing about the political Dr. Seuss was simply an eye-catcher, and you did a great job of picking out your topic.

Unfortunately, I've only read the first few paragraphs and skimmed through the rest, so I really hope you weren't looking for a grammer and spelling editor ;_; For the thesis, body, etc. I can just say kudos to you, that seemed excellent.

Charbok
10-22-2007, 12:54 AM
KB: Save it for PM

That is simply something. It seems to be a college-level paper, at least. The whole thing about the political Dr. Seuss was simply an eye-catcher, and you did a great job of picking out your topic.

Unfortunately, I've only read the first few paragraphs and skimmed through the rest, so I really hope you weren't looking for a grammer and spelling editor ;_; For the thesis, body, etc. I can just say kudos to you, that seemed excellent.

Thanks a ton.
I was worried about those first few paragraphs, and you just ate the worry like a worry-eating monster thing.

EmBreon
10-23-2007, 07:13 PM
My third (and probably not final) proof read.

The Political Dr. Seuss
By Austin McLaughlin

Dr. Theodore Seuss Geisel, more commonly known as “Dr. Seuss,” is world renowned as one of the greatest children’s book authors of all time. Arguably his most famous book, The Cat in the Hat (titles of work need to be italicized), became a school-wide phenomenon instantaneously for its readability. Housing a vocabulary of only 236 unique words, its goofy and memorable stories allowed children to have fun reading. (Holy run on sentence O_o *fixed*) But, there is more to Dr. Seuss than his brightly colored rhyming pages show off hand. Many of Dr. Seuss’ books have a very political structure in an easy to read form, which allow (keep consistent tense) people to look back and really see what they were doing from a goofy, colorful standpoint. From his early life and his transition into a political cartoonist, to his later life when he began children’s books, Dr. Seuss has been studied very closely by a number of people to find out exactly what he was trying to accomplish through his politically driven books.

Seuss began his life in Springfield Massachusetts, the son of Theodor Robert and Henrietta Seuss Geisel. He graduated from Dartmouth College in 1925, and entered Lincoln College, Oxford, intending to earn a doctorate in literature. However, before finishing his studies, he met a young woman named Helen Palmer, married her, and decided to return to the United States in 1927. After living with his wife for a few years, he began writing humorous articles to Judge, a humor magazine, and had his first work published shortly afterwards. He did not adopt the pen name of “Dr. Seuss” until six months later.

In 1936, at the dawn of World War II, Seuss sailed back to Europe and wrote his first children’s book, And to Think That I Saw It on Mulberry Street, which he claims was inspired by the rhythm of the ship’s engines. Seuss wrote three more children's books before the Second World War (The 500 Hats of Bartholomew Cubbins New York: Vanguard Press, 1938. The King's Stilts New York: Random House, 1939) two of which are, atypically for him, in prose.

In 1940, when World War II officially began, Seuss turned his attention to the war effort and began drawing and writing political cartoons which opposed to the viciousness of Hitler and Mussolini. Over the next two years, Seuss wrote more than 400 cartoons which ranged from the opposition of Hitler, to the depiction of Japanese Americans as traitors. By 1932, his 400 cartoons were turned into posters, posted in boot camps and city streets, and put in local newspapers across the U.S.A.

After drawing more than 400 cartoons, Seuss worked drawing posters for the Treasury Department and the War Production Board. Soon after, in 1943, he joined the Army and was sent to Frank Capra's Signal Corps Unit in Hollywood, where he wrote films for the United States Armed Forces, including "Your Job in Germany," a 1945 propaganda film about peace in Europe after World War II, "Design for Death," a study of Japanese culture that won the Academy Award for Best Documentary in 1948, and the Private Snafu series of army training films. While in the Army, (adverbial phrases must end in a comma, but you know this :P) he was awarded the Legion of Merit for educational and informational films.

Dr. Seuss's non-military films from around this time were also well received; Gerald McBoing-Boing, the story of a little boy who speaks through sound effects instead of spoken words, won the Academy Award for Best Short Subject (Animated) in 1951.
At the same time, an important development occurred that influenced much of Seuss's later work. In May of 1954, Life magazine published a report on illiteracy among school children, which concluded that children were not learning to read because their books were boring. (A new sentence should start here to avoid a run on) For example, the “Dick and Jane” series, a relatively boring story about two young kids. Accordingly, Seuss's publisher made up a list of 400 words he felt were important and asked Dr. Seuss to cut the list to 250 words, then (too many 'and's) write a book using only those words. Nine months later, Seuss, using 220 (Didn't you say 236 earlier? :/) of the words given to him, completed The Cat in the Hat. This book was a “tour de force”— it retained the drawing style, verse rhythms, and all the imaginative power of Seuss's earlier works; but, because of its simplified vocabulary, it could be read by beginning readers.

In 1960, Bennett Cerf, publisher and co-founder of Random House, bet Dr. Seuss fifty dollars (Eh, you should still leave it in word form unless you are dealing with a far greater deal of money) that he couldn't write an entire book using only fifty words. The result of this was Green Eggs and Ham. Curiously, Cerf never paid him the fifty dollars. These two books, which became a landmark in child learning, achieved significant international success, and remain very popular in the present day.

It wasn’t until the late 1950’s when Seuss decided to combine his two careers, political and children’s, when he wrote “Yertle the Turtle”, a book that is clearly based off of fascism, and more specifically, the Hitler regime.

The story revolves around a turtle named Yertle (hence the name of the book) who is the king of a pond. He commands the other turtles to stack themselves beneath him so he may have a throne high enough to see and rule over more land "'most a mile" around. A little turtle named Mack, who is standing at the bottom of the pile, complains, "I know, up on top you are seeing great sights, but down here at the bottom we, too, should have rights." Yertle refuses to listen to Mack's pleas and commands more and more turtles to add to his throne. When Yertle notices the moon rise above him as the night approaches, he decides to call for 5,607 more turtles for the stack to try to rise above it. However, before he can give the command, Mack, strained and angry, burps, shaking the stack of turtles and tossing Yertle off into the mud. The story ends with: "And the turtles, of course... all the turtles are free, as turtles and, maybe, all creatures should be.”

Of course, we can clearly see the resemblance between our “Yertle” and Hitler. It is said by Seuss himself that Yertle was strictly modeled off of Hitler and Nazism. The book explained Seuss’ feelings about fascism and Nazis in particular.

Seuss’ second obvious political children’s book is “The Sneetches”, which tells the story of the 'star-bellied sneetches' and the 'sneetches' (when you introduce words that do not exist, it is a good idea to quote them) who have no stars upon their bellies. In the beginning of the story, the presence or absence of a star is the basis for discrimination. Sneetches who have stars on their bellies are part of the "in crowd", while Sneetches without stars are shunned. As time goes on, a "fix-it-up chappie" named Sylvester McMonkey McBean appears, driving a car of strange machines. He offers the Sneetches without stars a chance to have them by going through his Star-On machine, for three dollars. The old star-bellied Sneetches are furious until McBean tells them about his Star-Off machine, costing ten dollars. This escalates, with the Sneetches running from one machine to the next,

"Until neither the Plain nor the Star-Bellies knew
Whether this one was that one or that one was this one
Or which one was what one... or what one was who."

From “The Sneetches and Other Stories”


We can see the political resemblance in this story as well. Written in 1961, when African Americans were beginning to rise up against racism, The Sneetches is an obvious lesson about racism and unjust discrimination.

The third, and arguably most important of his stories, is “The Lorax”, which teaches us a lesson about industrialization and how we should be more appreciative when it comes to natural resources. In the story, a boy comes to a dark, desolate corner of town called the street of the “Lifted Lorax," to learn who the Lorax was and how he got "lifted and taken away." Through a "whisper-ma-phone," a fictional means of communication, the 'Once-ler' tells the boy what happened: (You're introducing a story; it should be emphasized)

When the Once-ler first arrived at this place, it was a beautiful, sunny forest where the Swomee-Swans sang, the Humming-Fish hummed, and the Brown Bar-ba-loots played in the shade while eating the fruit of the Truffula Trees, colorful woolly trees spread throughout the area. Entranced by these gorgeous trees, the Once-ler built a small shop, where he chopped down a tree and knitted a Thneed, an odd-looking but versatile garment that he insisted "everyone needs." Out of the stump popped a strange little man called the Lorax, who claimed to "speak for the trees." The Lorax first scoffed at the Once-ler's creation, until someone came along and bought it. Spurred by greed, the Once-ler invited all his relatives to town where they started a huge Thneed-making business, chopping down Truffula Trees left and right, much to the Lorax's distress. The skies gradually got darker and more polluted, forcing the Lorax to send the Bar-ba-loots, the swans, and the fish off in search of a better place to live. The Once-ler, while upset to see the animals go, dismissed the Lorax's pleadings until the last Truffula Tree got chopped down, leaving the Once-ler alone with the Lorax and a failed business in a desolate place under a dark smoggy sky. With a "sad backward glance," the Lorax picked himself up by the "seat of his pants" and floated away through a hole in the smog. At the end of the story, the Once-ler reveals that he has one last Truffula seed left, and instructs the boy to start a new forest so that "the Lorax and all of his friends may come back."

Being the longest of the three stories, The Lorax gives us an easy way to look back and see what we’re doing to our earth and our resources. It not only talks about industrialization, but also means of advertisement that people use to fixate us on a product. While reading the story, we can clearly see that a Thneed is not a necessary or even useful item to the inhabitants, and we know that we wouldn’t buy one because we are too smart to fall for such a thing. However, when we step back from the story and look at our own action, which is something that many people fail to do, we realize that we have fallen for the same stupid trick as the inhabitants in the land of the Lorax.

What Dr. Seuss does in his books is show us common sense, which we will agree upon because it is common sense, and then he will apply it to a real-world scenario, which shows us what we are doing wrong. For instance, in the 1960’s, when people read “The Sneetches” they probably thought “Boy is it ever stupid to be mean to those sneetches just because they don’t have stars on their bellies”, then when someone comes up to them and makes them realize that they were doing the same thing with African Americans, people will notice that they’re doing just as much wrong as Dr. Seuss’ little yellow birds were in the story. What this forces people to do is make a choice: They can either live as a hypocrite, or they change their ways. Either way, Seuss wins because if they choose the latter, then equality gets spread around, and if they choose the former, they will be liars and that is punishment enough.

Let’s take a final look at “The Lorax”. The Lorax is almost too obviously a story about industrialization, and everyone who reads it should see that. The true beauty with the book lies in the very beginning and the very end when we see the Once-ler.
In the beginning, we see a very sad, dark and lonely world with but one creature that lives there. As we read, the Lorax appears and warns the Once-ler about the dangers of cutting down the truffula trees, which of course we all know is bad. In this, the Lorax “speaks for the trees” which causes us to look at him as a symbol of nature’s beauty, or even Mother Nature. At the end of the book, the Lorax floats away through one last hole in the smog and is never seen again. This is where the true influence comes in the book. The Lorax uses symbolism, and shows us exactly what has been lost through our actions. We see how the beautiful truffula trees are all gone, how the blue sky has been covered by smog, and how the majestic Swomee-Swans are forced out of their home because of it.

Dr. Seuss went on to write many other children's books, both in his new simplified-vocabulary manner (sold as "Beginner Books") and in his older, more elaborate style. The Beginner Books were not easy for Seuss, and reportedly he labored for months crafting them.

At various times, Seuss also wrote books for adults that used the same style of verse and pictures: The Seven Lady Godivas, Oh, The Places You'll Go!, and his final book You're Only Old Once, a satire of hospitals and the geriatric lifestyle.

Following a very difficult illness, Helen Palmer Geisel committed suicide on October 23, 1967. Seuss married Audrey Stone Diamond on June 21, 1968. Seuss himself died, following several years of illness, in La Jolla, California on September 24, 1991.

From his early political cartoons, which are an obvious example of his politically driven career, to his children’s books, which caused people to look back on themselves and realize who they were, Theodore Seuss Geisel was, without a doubt, an influential, and important part not only of children’s lives, but the lives of teachers, parents and common folk alike.

First of all, this is a very impressive essay coming from someone your age. I've never done any kind of research on Dr. Suess, so this was rather interesting to me. It was enlightening, and you should be very proud of this.

Anyways, as usual, I have corrected all of your grammar. :P I'm not sure if it was mere coincidence, but there were less and less mistakes as the paper continued. I'm pretty sure I bolded everything that I changed, but I may have forgot to in some places. :oops: The red are only situations that I felt needed explaining.

Also, are you sure this is nine pages? o_O How big is your spacing?

Either way, good luck with this; I hope you do well. :]

Charbok
10-23-2007, 11:44 PM
First of all, this is a very impressive essay coming from someone your age. I've never done any kind of research on Dr. Suess, so this was rather interesting to me. It was enlightening, and you should be very proud of this.

Anyways, as usual, I have corrected all of your grammar. :P I'm not sure if it was mere coincidence, but there were less and less mistakes as the paper continued. I'm pretty sure I bolded everything that I changed, but I may have forgot to in some places. :oops: The red are only situations that I felt needed explaining.

Also, are you sure this is nine pages? o_O How big is your spacing?

Either way, good luck with this; I hope you do well. :]

Holy page-correctors!
I didn't think that anyone would actually read the whole thing.
I must admit, I thought I screwed up on quite a few things, and I didn't like alot of it.

You're right, it's only about 7 pages double spaced.
There are pics in the real thing and such to legnthen it.

I've gotta hand it to you Emma, you're quite a handy tool to have around :tongue:

EmBreon
10-24-2007, 12:08 AM
Holy page-correctors!
I didn't think that anyone would actually read the whole thing.
I must admit, I thought I screwed up on quite a few things, and I didn't like alot of it.

You're right, it's only about 7 pages double spaced.
There are pics in the real thing and such to legnthen it.

I've gotta hand it to you Emma, you're quite a handy tool to have around :tongue:

Yay, glad to help. :] I blame my major and the fact that I'm a grammar nut. :goofy:

Don't hesitate to post these, because I like going over them. ;P