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The Lorax

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by

Amy Brown

on 9 October 2013

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Transcript of The Lorax

The Lorax
By

Book
Introduction
Summary
Analysis
Conclusion
A young boy visits an isolated man called the Once-ler. The boy gives the Once-ler fifteen cents, a shell and a nail to hear the story on why the area is so run down. The Once-ler explains that to the boy that this place used to be beautiful with thousands of Truffula trees. The Once-ler decides that he wants to make Thneeds out of the Truffula trees. The Lorax comes into the picture saying that his job is to speak for those who can't and tells the Once-ler he needs to stop immediately. The Once-ler's Thneeds industry is expanding and the environment keeps getting more and more polluted. The Lorax continues to try to help those who can't speak up for themselves but the Once-ler does not listen. Finally the last Truffula tree falls down and the Once-lers factory is shut down because he cannot make any thneeds without the Truffula trees. The Lorax flies away into the clouds, leaving behind a stone slabbed etched with the word Unless. The Once-ler realizes that this means that Unless someone cares, the problem will now improve. The Once-ler gives the boy the last Truffula tree seed and tells him that if he plants it, " "the Lorax, and all of his friends may come back."
Historical Criticism
Definition: literature expresses the values, issues, and concerns of the age which produced it.Literary historians analyze the historical context, including historical events, attitudes, social roles and expectations of authors, literature and readers. This type of criticism emphasizes on the gap between a literary work's historical context and a modern readers understanding of the period, however limited or distorted that understanding might be.
Literature reflects its period, but the image it produces could be distorted. Literature is not history, and to assume that it simply presents historical truths is a disservice to both literature and history.
Background
The book was first published in 1971, during the environmental movement. There was more awareness to the amount of impact people have on their environment because of scientific research. The book has received mostly positive attention but when it was released some people argued that it was not fair to the logging industry.
The Lorax by Dr. Seuss is a response to environmental problems in the 1960's. The story is about colonization and humans lack of respect for the environment.
The Lorax represents the trees and the animals because they cannot speak for themselves. He pleads with the Onceler to stop and tries to show him how it's affecting the forest but the Onceler's greed keeps him caring about all the wrong he is doing. He knows it's not right, but he still continues with the business. Just as when people litter in the street, they know it is not right, but they still do it.
The story has an understated ending, with the fish leaving the polluted water and the birds leaving the polluted air, but in reality we know they die. The message is very clear in the story and is easy enough for children to understand. The effect Dr. Suess wants on his audience is to treat the Earth with care and be kind to the environment.
The message of the story is be good to the environment and the environment will be good to you. This book was made as a response to the 1960's time period and people polluting the earth. It shows the effects of big business, pollution, development, and deforestation. The forest was beautiful and full of life before the Onceler and his family came and began tearing it down.
Synthesis
Dr. Seuss's message is not just that the environment is degrading but that we can do something about it. He ends the story with the simple word unless. Unless we do something we will not have these problems will continue to get worse..
The book's primary message is to promote environmental consciousness and warn of the consequences of mistreating the planet. Pollution and deforestation were both issues at the time of the book's writing. The Lorax character represents environmentalist movements that started in the 1960s to oppose the destruction of the environment. The book is a grim account of what would happen if the environmentalists are ignored and people continue to cut down forests and pollute the air. The book also warns against greed. The Once-ler desire to have more and more left him with nothing at all. It is largely an "or else" story. You need to stop cutting down the Truffula trees or else..
Bibliography
Seuss. The Lorax. New York: Random House, 1971. Print.
"Dr. Seuss." Wikipedia. Wikimedia Foundation, 10 Aug. 2013. Web. 08 Oct. 2013.
"Historical Criticism." Wikipedia. Wikimedia Foundation, 10 Aug. 2013. Web. 08 Oct. 2013.
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