Review: The Lorax

Please note, the following reviews the book, not the movie.

In this timeless allegory, Dr. Seuss’s lilting rhyme carries a weighty message about the dangers of greed-driven defores-tation. The Lorax’s home is a paradise, where all creatures live harmoniously. Here, bearlike Brown Bar-ba-loots dance, Humming-Fish splash, and Truffula Trees—their tops like giant pom-poms—wave “mile after mile in the fresh morning breeze.” But when an entrepreneur sets up shop producing Thneeds, a versatile product “that-all-people-need,” the otherworldly Eden starts to crumble. One by one, the invader chops down the magnificent Truffulas for their tops, thereby disrupting nature’s delicate balance. Enter the Lorax, an adorably stout, mustached forest spokesperson who berates the factory owner for his carelessness. Shaking a fuzzy finger, he complains that the operation is “glumping the pond where the Humming-Fish hummed! No more can they hum, for their gills are all gummed” and the fish must now “walk on their fins and get woefully weary, in search of some water that isn’t so smeary.” What were once comical illustrations in a spectrum of fruity colors fade to nightmarish shades of gray, brown, and purple as the once-blissful forest inhabitants grow weary, forced into exile. Even 40 years after it was written, The Lorax is worth revisiting.

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