The Lorax

Taylor Bell

Purpose Statement of the Lorax

In the book, The Lorax, written by Dr. Seuss and the movie, The Lorax, directed by Chris Renaud and Kyle Balda, the authors employ different techniques to convey to young children that if they do not preserve the earth now and take care of the environment it produces, then it will not be there for future use.




Rhetorical Choices

  • The tone of the movie is comical and easy going
  • Exaggeration is used throughout the movie (size of Once-ler in the song "bad", tree that uses 48 batteries, town buys clean air and machines to use it, giant cars that don't fit with the small town)
  • Irony is used throughout the movie (Lorax puts him in the river to float away then saves him and brings him back, the better his business does the worse the environment gets, more air that is bought the more air is needed)
  • Contrast is used throughout the movie (Big dark machinery with dainty colorful Truffula trees, cute colorful animals with desolate factory environment, inside the town to outside the town)
  • Symbolism (Once-ler gloves being green representing his desire for money and that his hands had the power to create it to his all green outfit once he grows his factory, the seen symbolizes hope and a future, O'hare and his air represents human greed and the need for "more")
  • Focuses on the greed and need that humanity has for useless goods like Thneeds and bottled air
  • More pathos
Dr. Seus' The Lorax "How bad can I be?" ~OFFICIAL VIDEO HD~ With lyrics
The Lorax - Thneedville Song
Time: 1:20-1:48
  • The tone of the book is serious and tragic
  • Uses rhymes at the end of each sentence "In no time at all, I had built a small shop. Then I chopped down a Truffula Tree with one chop" (Seuss 20).
  • Contrast (the now and in the Oncle-ler's flashback, dark factory in the colorful world, animals in the factory world, the color of the Swomee-Swans and the Humming- Fish change as they get sicker with the smogulous smoke and Gluppity-Glump, warm colors before the factory to cool colors after)
  • Italics, font changes, and capitalization to emphasize points that Dr. Seuss wants to make
  • Onomatopoeia (SLURP, yap-yap, ga-Zump)
  • More logos

Why the Differences and Similarities?


  • Time constraint (2 hours for movie, 63 pages for book-read in 10 minutes)
  • Movie made to make money (must have a definite happy ending)
  • Book written to engage young children in reading as well as to teach them important life lessons
  • Animation in movies is much different than animation in books
  • The book was written much earlier than when the movie was produced (time change)
  • Two hours of pure rhyming would be weird and boring
  • Movie must be more developed


  • Movie is required to have a connection to book (some rhyming, recognizable characters, same overall purpose)
  • Same general timeline (Boy to Once-ler to flashback to seed)
  • Powerful symbols used in both because they work well (green for greed, dark colors for gloomy, and seed for hope growth and rebirth)

Second Purpose of Movie

The movie had more than one purpose. Not only was its purpose to show how children must conserve the environment now, in order to ensure its availability in the future, but also to address human greed and need along with consumerism through the insertion of Mr. O'hare. This second plot line allowed for the movie to take on the typical good and evil theme where the good guy always wins. It also worked to show how humans always want more, even when it may not be good for them. For example the more air that the humans buy, the smoggier the air will get but they want the next coolest light up tree or air bottle. It also addresses companies' take on their goods and their desire to do whatever it takes to make a profit. Although Mr. O'hare is shown in a satirical fashion, the underlying message is serious, businessmen use human gullibility and desire for more to make as large as a profit as possible regardless of the expense. In this case, the environment is the cost at which businessmen are willing to pay in order to satisfy human greed.


Seuss. The Lorax. New York: Random House, 1971. Print.

The Lorax. Prod. Chris Renaud and Kyle Balda. Warner Home Video, 2012. DVD.

YouTube. YouTube, n.d. Web. 19 May 2015. <>.