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  • Marcella Arnesen

The Lorax: An Environmental Re-imagination

Updated: Sep 3, 2023



The Lorax, a children's book by Dr. Seuss, is a timeless classic that continues to resonate with readers of all ages. I recently watched the movie "The Lorax" and was struck by its powerful message about the consequences of environmental destruction. Beyond its characters and rhymes, the story serves as a critique of modern consumerism and the impact it has on our environment. Having grown up in a family that values sustainability and conservation, I have always had a personal connection to the environment. I am aware of how urgent and important it is that we begin protecting our world. I wanted to analyze the message in the Lorax, and the implications this message has in our society. I will also emphasize the importance of taking action to protect our planet and the role that we can all play in preserving it for future generations.




The Environment and My Experience


According to research by PW Schultz, early experiences in nature have a significant impact on an individual's environmental attitudes and behaviors. In my case, my positive experiences in nature as a child have translated into a desire to protect and preserve the environment as a teenager. This personal connection to the environment has also led me to make lifestyle changes, such as reducing my use of single-use plastics and supporting environmentally-friendly businesses. Overall, my personal connection to the environment has played a crucial role in shaping my attitudes and behaviors towards environmental conservation.



The Lorax and Real Life


The Lorax portrays environmental destruction and its impact in a memorable way. The story follows the Once-ler, a greedy businessman who begins chopping down the Truffula trees in order to make Thneeds, a flashy item that no one actually needs. As the Once-ler's business grows, he continues to disregard the warnings of the Lorax, the guardian of the forest who speaks for the trees. Eventually, all of the Truffula trees are cut down, causing the destruction of the forest and the displacement of the animals who lived there. RL Hahn argues that the story's villain, the Once-ler, represents the worst aspects of modern consumerism while the story’s hero, the Lorax, represents the natural world and the consequences of human actions on the environment. The Lorax's portrayal of environmental destruction is impactful because it clearly illustrates the consequences of human greed and the destruction of natural resources. Similarly, in real life, deforestation has led to the loss of habitats and biodiversity, contributing to climate change and other environmental problems (Starosielski). The impact of environmental destruction is not limited to flora and fauna alone. It also affects human health, particularly in areas where pollution levels are high. As Caraway and Caraway (2020) note, "The book's message is about the long-term environmental consequences of shortsighted greed and the importance of conservation" (p. 1). The Lorax's message is particularly relevant today, as we continue to see the devastating effects of climate change and deforestation. The Lorax is a powerful critique of modern consumerism because it shows that the choices we make as consumers have real-world consequences. The book/movie is not just a cautionary tale for children, but also a message that adults need to take seriously if we want to protect the environment for future generations.


Facing Reality


Watching "The Lorax" was a wake-up call for me. The movie portrays the harsh reality of our world. The clear message is that we need to take responsibility for our actions and make a conscious effort to preserve our planet for future generations. The film highlights the importance of individual actions, such as reducing our carbon footprint, recycling, and being mindful of the products we consume. It also emphasizes the need for collective action, as we need to hold corporations and governments accountable for their impact on the environment. Overall, "The Lorax" is a powerful reminder that we have a responsibility to protect our planet and that we have the power to create positive change. As a teenage girl, I am inspired to take action and make a difference in my community, and I hope that others will join me in this important mission.


For More Information…


If this movie has inspired you to change your life and make a difference in this planet, you can check out my other article called “Start Living a Sustainable Lifestyle“ to, well, start living a sustainable lifestyle!



Environmental Foundations in Miami:

  • Clean Miami Beach

  • Lets Cherish Life

  • The Everglades Foundation

  • Fairchild Tropical Botanical Garden


 

Works Cited


PW Schultz. “Implicit connections with nature.” https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0272494403000227


N Starosielski. “‘Movements that are drawn’: A history of environmental animation from The Lorax to FernGully to Avatar.” https://journals.sagepub.com/doi/pdf/10.1177/1748048510386746


K Caraway. “Representing Ecological Crises in Children's Media: An Analysis of The Lorax and Wall-E.” https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/17524032.2019.1710226


RL Hahn. “‘But Business is Business, and Business Must Grow’: A Take on The Lorax.” https://scholarcommons.sc.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=1095&context=tor



 

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