Environmental Conservation and Corporate Greed: the Film Lorax

In the film ‘’The Lorax’’ Theodore Seuss Gilsel is making an argument and claim that people value industry over wildlife. ‘’The Lorax’’ illustrates many important economical concepts such as: limited resources, profit gain, profit loss, and opportunity cost. During the film the character Once-ler was riding through the country in his wagon and discover the wonderful Truffula Trees. In fact, the area is so beautiful that the Once-ler decides to settle there. He chops down a Truffula Tree and builds a shop where he can sell “Thneeds,” a strange knitted invention that he believes will be incredibly popular. Once he saw the beautiful Truffula Trees he thought of a way to make money by chopping down the Truffula Trees. When the Once-ler cuts down the first tree, the Lorax collects rocks and puts them around the tree stump to honor it. The Lorax is quite old and hairy and is orange-yellow in color with a giant bushy moustache. He is the guardian of the trees and explains that he speaks for them because they cannot speak themselves The Lorax showed his appreciation to nature during that moment.

Furthermore, during that specific moment The Lorax showed an appeal to pathos. The Lorax and the town cared very about the Truffula Tree a lot. Moreover, Grammy Norma finds the Truffula seed, her eyes are wide open as she remembers the days when Truffula trees were prominent. This reminiscing causes the audience to feel an emotional attachment to the Truffula tree and have a strong hope that it survives. That specific moment during the film ‘’The Lorax’’ was another appeal to pathos. The claim Dr. Seuss was making during that moment was a claim of value. The moment showed The Lorax valuing nature (The Truffula Tree) and how the Once-ler was valuing money over nature. Once he chopped down his first Truffula Tree the Once-ler started to sell Thneed and he was in business. The moment he started to sell Thneeds he saw the opportunity to become rich. Moreover, with no more Truffula Trees he can make no more Thneeds, so the factory closes for good.

The story returns to the present and the Once-ler explains to the curious boy that he has been trying to understand the message ever since the Lorax left. So far, he has been unsuccessful but now, with the arrival of the boy, he finally understands. The Lorax was written in the context of the greater environmental movement, which arose from concern over the planet’s ability to sustain an industrialized world built. The Lorax represents the environment and those who defend it while the Once-ler represents greedy corporations that are never satisfied with their profits. Moreover, throughout the film ‘’The Lorax’’ the Once-ler was witnessing the terrible consequences occurring around him, the Once-ler still insists that he meant no harm and is entitled to keep “defying” his operations and earnings.

The Lorax is generally considered to be a cautionary story about environmental destruction and selfish greed. In this interpretation, the Lorax represents the environment and those who defend it while the Once-ler represents greedy corporations that are never satisfied with their profits and continue to expand and consume natural resources despite the terrible damage they do to the environment. In the end the Once-ler started to understand how badly he hurt the environment around him by chopping down the Truffula Trees and came to an understanding once his factory shut down. ‘’The Lorax’’ is a film about claim of value overall and Dr. Seuss made the claim known throughout the movie to teach the people that we are responsible for the outcome of the world.

Works Cited

  • Seuss,Dr. ‘’The Lorax’’, Directed by Chris Renaud, Universal Pictures, 02 Mar. 2012. Amazon Prime, www.Amazon.com/The-Lorax/dp/B001E6V6HO 
16 December 2021
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