Summary of The Lorax – An Example

In his book The Lorax, Dr. Seuss discusses the terrible consequences humans may face if we fail to look after our environment. The book features a greedy creature named the Once-ler who cares only for profit and who ignores the warnings of The Lorax, the keeper of the Truffula Trees. The book is set in a Dr. Seuss make believe land, in an unknown time, in a colourful forest with pink, purple, and yellow Truffula Trees. The Once-ler begins producing thneeds, a product whose purpose we are never really sure. He begins by chopping a small number of trees down but when the Once-ler realizes that people will buy his product, he expands his business, building a factory and producing a machine that can chop down huge numbers of tress. He begins producing numerous thneeds and his business is  booming!

Throughout the book, The Lorax, a moustached creature who speaks on behalf of the trees, warns the Once-ler that his activities will cause serious harm. His warnings become real as a variety of creatures begin to leave the area due to a lack of food that they once got from the tree and to the pollution caused by the Once-ler’s activities. The Once-ler eventually chops down the last tree and so, we think, the Truffulas become extinct. When this happens, The Lorax also leaves the land. The reader is left with some hope at the end when the little boy who had been listening to the story finds that one Truffula seed has survived. We realize that the author is talking directly to us in the end, that we we are the boy. Dr. Seuss leaves us with a message of hope, that we can take care of this seed and that we can look after our environment but only if we are careful.

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