The Lorax

Essay by lybrian1High School, 12th gradeA-, December 2008

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The Lorax is a short cartoon by Dr. Seuss, although this cartoon is targeted at children it still relates to economical and environmental impacts we learnt from our class. The story illustrates many important economical concepts such as: needs and wants, supply and demand, profit gain and loss, supply returns, diminishing marginal returns, limited resources, and opportunity cost. This cartoon is probably what inspired David Suzuki to write his essay.

There are two main characters in the story, the Once-ler and the Lorax. The Once-ler appears in the story riding his wagon when he discovers a beautiful place with lush trees and friendly animals. He soon encounters the truffula trees which seemed like the perfect material to make the Thneeds and it also seemed like an unlimited resource. He knew there was a market and created a demand from the Thneeds. This is the concept of Supply and Demand.

He saw a way to make money and thought that everyone owned them and that he was the first person smart enough to take advantage of a money making opportunity. We quickly realize that the Thneed stands for Things that people Need but it is purely a want and not a necessity. Soon we are introduced to the Lorax who seemed to make it his duty to protect the trees and the animals. The Lorax symbolizes the environmentalists in our world much like David Suzuki, who seems to understand the environmental impact and make it their duty to protect the environment but lacks the power necessary to control it. The Lorax warns the Once-ler to stop cutting down the truffula trees but fed by his greed the Once-ler chooses not to obey the Lorax’s orders.

As the demand for Thneeds increase the Once-ler had to expand...