Have you heard of The Lorax? The Lorax was a very colorful character in the popular Dr. Seuss book (and now movie) called The Lorax. The book was originally published in 1972 and the movie was released in 2012.
A brief summary of the story is:
A young boy who is currently living in an ugly polluted area visits an isolated man called the Once-ler. The boy agrees to pays the Once-ler – 15 cents, a nail, and a great-great-great grandfather snail shell to hear the legend of “the Lorax”.
The Once-ler tells the boy the story of when he first arrived in an amazing and beautiful valley containing a forest of Truffula trees and many animals. The Once-ler, had been searching for the Truffula tree for a very long time decides to chop one down and use its silk-like leaves to knit a Thneed, an amazing and impossibly versatile garment.
The Lorax, declares he “speaks for the trees” as they have no way to talk as they have no tongues, emerges from the stump of a Truffula and explains his disapproval both of the removal of the tree and of the Thneed itself. However, the Once-ler sells the first Thneed for $3.98 and thus is encouraged to make more and even start a business.
The Once-ler’s small operation quickly grows into a large one and requires a factory. All of the Once-ler’s relatives start to work for him and construction equipment is brought in to log the Truffula forest and ship out as many Thneeds as possible.
The Lorax appears again to try to stop this, he states that the small bear-like Bar-ba-loots are short of food (Truffula fruits) and must leave to find more.
The Lorax again returns as the factory has been polluting the air and the water, forcing other species (Swomee-Swans and Humming-Fish) to migrate as well. The Once-ler does not care and tells the Lorax that he will keep on “biggering” his business (growing his business), but at that very moment one of his machines cuts down the very last Truffula tree.
Without Truffula tree, the factory shuts down and the Once-ler’s relatives leave. The Lorax says nothing and leaves. Where the Lorax last stood is a small monument engraved with just one word: “UNLESS”. The Once-ler ponders this word for years in solitude.
Back to the present, the buildings were falling apart around him, the Once-ler at last realizes what the Lorax meant: “unless someone like you cares a whole awful lot, nothing is going to get better. It’s not”. The Once-ler then gives the boy the last Truffula seed and strongly urges him to grow a forest from it. They are hopeful if the trees can be protected from logging then the Lorax and all of his friends may come back.
Due to the anti-forestry stance, the book was banned in Laytonville, California in 1989 from a local public school. Logging is one of the largest industries in California and the school didn’t want the kids to look at the industry in a negative fashion.
What do you think? Is banned the book too far?