What is your interpretation of the message of The Lorax?
The story of The Lorax can be interpreted in numerous ways. The most obvious message is a warning against corporate greed that pillages the environment. The story also, however, contains a lesson against capitalism and false marketing, which is interesting considering Dr. Seuss's background in advertising. The Thneed, for example, quickly becomes a necessary commodity, snapped up by consumers, despite having been invented purely for profit.
What is the role of conscience in The Lorax?
Over the course of the story, the Lorax makes several appeals to the Once-ler's conscience, even bringing the starving and sick animals of the forest straight to his doorstep in order to inspire pity. The Once-ler acknowledges having an emotional reaction to these pleas for change—as the Brown Bar-ba-loots file away pathetically, for example, he admits to feeling a bit sad. But his business instinct immediately overrides that emotion. Instead, his true conscience only kicks in after his bottom line is affected. Once he can no longer harvest Truffula Trees, he realizes that he made some terrible mistakes, and hopes for change in the future at the hands of the young boy. This plot arc indicates that in The Lorax, conscience alone is not enough to reverse a course of action.