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Dr. Seuss' “The Lorax” Essay

1693 words - 7 pages

Theodore Geisel, commonly known as Dr Seuss, published “The Lorax” in 1971. “The Lorax” is a popular children's book that focuses on human ecology and the environmental movement. The book tells the story of the Once-ler, and how his business led to him cutting down all the Truffula trees, which destroyed the ecosystem, habitat, and polluted the water and the air in the meantime. “The Lorax”, while it is a very substantial tool for the environmental movement, presents several wrong ideas about the ecological movement. Even though Seuss' book is successful, people who wish to use this book to teach about the environment should be careful about how they utilize it as a text. While raising important questions, “The Lorax” offers answers that can be precarious, despite Seuss' good intentions. The main point of “The Lorax” is that no society can benefit from exhausting their renewable resources. However, there are contradictions within the story and the solutions steer the attention of the audience away from alternatives that can accomplish the goals stated in the book; the second point is shown in the story because the idea that people must change instead of their motivations is obvious in the interaction between the Lorax and the Once-ler. Before going examining these statements, this paper will summarize “The Lorax” and will challenge the story's solidity.
“The Lorax” starts with a young boy who goes to the far side of town to hear the Lorax's tale. There he finds a grouchy old man, named the Once-ler, who says he will tell the boy the story but only if he is paid. The Once-ler then tells of when the land was clean and wilderness was everywhere. Various animals such as swomee-swans, bar-ba-loots, and humming-fish lived among the colourful tufts of Truffula trees, which went “mile after mile in the fresh morning breeze” (Seuss 2). The Once-ler came to this forest in a cart and began to chop down a tree, and he knit the tuft into a “Thneed” (2). After creating the first thneed, the Lorax appeared:
“He was shortish. And oldish.
And brownish. And mossy.
And he spoke with a voice
that was sharpish and bossy” (3).

The Lorax, said he spoke for the trees and asked: “What's that THING you've made out of my Truffula tuft?” (3). Sadly for the Lorax, and the trees, the thneeds were very popular, and sold quickly. Business at a boom, the Once-ler called in his family to help and pretty soon there were factories, and trees were being cut down very quickly. The Lorax came back to the Once-ler saying that the Bar-ba-loots had to leave because there was not enough fruit from the trees to live off of. The Once-ler felt bad for a small time, but then claimed: “Business is business! And business must grow” (4). The business did grow, and it also polluted the air and the water, the animals had to leave, and the Lorax tries to make the Once-ler understand what he is doing to the area, but he doesn't listen. And then the last Truffula tree is chopped down. No trees...

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