The Lorax Essay, Research Paper
Seuss addresses a growing crisis by employing nonsensical words and images, such as a Thneed, “a Fine-Something-That-All-People-Need.” The greedy Once-ler and his factories that sully the sky artfully inform the reader about the dangers of pollution, extinction, and deforestation. However, Seuss never mentions these buzzwords. Instead, he uses a magical language that defies rational criticism and enraptures children of all ages: the cruffulous croak and smogulous smoke, the snergelly hose, rippulous pond, gruvvulous glove and miff-muffered moof. The “mossy, bossy” Lorax warns the Once-ler of the effects of the smog contaminating the skies and the “gluppity-glup” polluting the waters. Warning the reader of the threat of extinction, Lorax pleads for the safety of the “Humming-Fish” choking in the polluted pond, the “Swomee-Swans” overcome by smog, and the “Brown Bar-ba-loots,” starved by the loss of the Truffula Fruit. Approaching intense ecological problems in a colorful nonsensical tale. The child-sized Lorax emerges from the stump of the first Truffula tree that is axed as a sort of nature spirit, and he then uses the stump as a type of pulpit to deliver his desperate message: I am the Lorax. I speak for the trees. I speak for the trees, for the trees have no tongues. Like an activist trying to stop this madness, he establishes the responsibility of all creatures for the welfare of others, especially those unable to defend themselves. Throughout the book, the Lorax continues to assume the position of the guardian of living things, directing his complaints of destruction at the Once-ler. His age and his beard contribute to the wizened, old aspect of his character convincing the reader of his validity as a spokesperson for wildlife. The Once-ler represents of a society that focuses on economic growth and expansion as the primary indications of the success and prosperity of business, regardless of the consequences. The Lorax, with his appearance of age and wisdom, is like the old-farts of today, that have been here longer then we have, telling us to realize that what we are doing is not right. The white man had a thneed, which was to colonize and migrate, and the Indians (Lorax) saw the unrespectful acts they committed. And now, our society has the idea that sprawl is better, that we will be nothing without big, growing industries. Even the Cherry Capital could not last during non-tourist season without the help of industries. And the industries and peoples needs are growing into our wildlife, like the Once-ler s factory. What Suess brings across, which seems to be true, is that children have the passion, imagination and sense of goodness, although they may not understand, and the older crowd have got the wisdom to know what s going on. The problem is with these young bucks that think they know what they are doing. They just know that they have a job to do to bring in the money. Although now we have laws to protect them, that may not be enough. The name “Once-ler” suggests that once upon a time, things were better. The character represents what once was, both in terms of his Thneed business and the Truffula forest. As he delivers the last Truffula seed to the boy, his formerly capitalistic tendencies evolve into a sense of responsibility for the wave of destruction that he initiated. The regretful Once-ler entrusts a child with the responsiblity of using the last of the Truffula seeds wisely. His words are a plea to future generations, challenging the youth to revive the wilderness ravaged by their predecessors. The boy’s duty is to plant a seed and care for it, a simple task that would not seem daunting to a child, but maybe too time consuming for an adult. Seuss’s characters and suggestions are carefully placed on a child’s level, making environmental advocacy seem possible for a person of any age. Seuss does not provide a solution to the problems exposed in The Lorax, but instead prods the children to be assertive and search for the answers themselves.