where the Grickle-grass grows and the wind smells slow-and-sour when it blows and no birds ever sing excepting old crows is the Street of the Lifted Lorax. The Lorax. By Dr. Seuss. UNLESS someone like you cares a whole awful lot, nothing is birds ever sing excepting old crows is the Street of the Lifted Lorax. - The Lorax - Dr. vitecek.info - Download as PDF File .pdf), Text File .txt) or read online.
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The Lorax by Dr. Seuss - Free download as PDF File .pdf), Text File .txt) or read online for free. The Lorax is a book made for tots by Dr. Seuss. It also has a. character who acts as advocate for the eco- system's species. The Lorax also complains about the unregulated Thneed factory, which belches. The Lorax is one of Dr. Seuss's most famous environmental cautionary tales. The Lorax is the main character that protests the removal of the Truffula Trees.
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Pdf download The Lorax Classic Seuss full. Upcoming SlideShare. Like this presentation? Why not share! An annual anal Embed Size px. Start on. Show related SlideShares at end. WordPress Shortcode. Published in: Full Name Comment goes here. Are you sure you want to Yes No. Zapf, Hubert. Literatur als kulturelle Okologie. Zur kulturellen Funktion imaginativer Texte an Bespielen des amerikanischen Romans. Max Niemeyer Verlag. This essay discusses the relation between a biocentric ethics and the project of an ecocritical rehabilitation of outer mimesis as it has been proposed by Lawrence Buell, among others.
It argues that a text's ethical force arises not from the facts it may be said to represent, but from its narrative form. If we seek to understand how texts reshape attitudes towards nature, we should therefore focus our attention not on a text's faithfulness to ecological facts, but on the way in which it picks up and transforms the narratives circulating in a culture.
This argument is supported by a detailed analysis of Dr. Seuss' The Lorax , a children's book that fails Buell's criteria for enviromentally oriented work, but which nevertheless has played a significant role in environmental education in the U. It is rhetorics to suggest that it is necessary to really start thinking and acting, again or for the first time. If it was possible to see and to treat reality 'realistically', it would always have been seen and treated in that way.
More than with the reality which it promises, the pose of the retour au reel must therefore occupy itself with explaining all the illusions, false fronts and seductions that have to be dealt with in the course.
Hans Blumenberg 1.
Rehabilitating mimesis, recuperating the environment For many ecocritics, the theoretical project most central to their new discipline is what is often described as the recovery of literature's "referential dimension" or a rehabilitation of mimesis, where the latter is understood as a truthful representation of ecological facts.
By keeping faith with the natural environment, it is assumed, literary mimesis can bring about a biocentric reorientation of the reader. In Hann. Before I try to clarify this proposition by way of an analysis of Theodore Geisel's better known as Dr. Seuss The Lorax, I want to examine the project of an ecocritical rehabilitation of mimesis in a little more detail.
For this purpose, the argument put forward by Lawrence Buell in The Environmental Imagination, a founding text of ecocriticism, may be taken as representative. According to Buell, the anti-mimetic and constructionist bent of most work in the humanities today must be seen as symptomatic of the larger cultural situation of globalised capitalism, in which people are becoming increasingly alienated from the biological fundamentals of their existence and live in artificial environments that obscure ecological realities.
By refusing to acknowledge the material facticity of nature as a realm distinct from and pre-existing the various conceptual frameworks within which it is represented, Buell charges, theory has abetted the prevailing ignorance about the natural environment which is chiefly responsible for the current ecological crisis.
Beginning with this premise, one might plausibly think of ecocriticism's main task as that of recuperating the factual environment from the oblivion into which the various textual appropriations have pushed it. It must identify and critique mis- representations or elisions in texts that are blinded by the reigning anthropocentric bias of their culture, and single out as positive examples those texts that struggle against anthropocentrism and project biocentric ways of relating to the environment.
In Buell's argument, the master text that serves to epitomize this passage from anthropocentrism to biocentrism is Thoreau's Walden - the Walden project, to be exact, i. The Walden project, writes Buell, is a "record and model of a western sensibility working with and through the constraints of Eurocentric, androcentric, homocentric culture to arrive at an environmentally responsive vision" Buell Starting from the imperialist vision of Emersonian transcenden- talism, which looked towards the coming "kingdom of man over nature" Emerson Following Thoreau's footsteps, the ecocritic must peel off the layers of ideology which have prevented us from seeing nature as it truly is - thus taking us back to the "solid earth!
This path would lead ecocriticism beyond the traditional sphere of literary criticism and closer to the natural sciences, while at the same time allowing for a more spiritual view of nature. Ecocriti- cism must acquire and promote "ecoliteracy" - scientifically sound knowledge of the facts which constitute the ecological context of human actions and use that knowledge to judge whether a text repre- sents the natural environment accurately.
Thus, the measure of the value of a literary text would not be verbal artistry as such, but the degree to which it succeeds in putting the latter at the service of ecological truth and accomplishes a mimetically faithful rendering of the "object world" Buell Reading "non-fictionally" in the manner proposed by Buell, the ecocritic must recognize the text's "dual accountability to matter and to discursive mentation" Buell The gap supposedly separating literary art and science is thus revealed to be only a matter of degrees: Both seek to make understandable a puzzling world" Buell In some respects, the "rehabilitation of mimesis" as proposed by Buell and other ecocritics is a worthwhile project.
It is indeed timely to reconsider the ways in which the non-human resists and contra- venes our representations of it both textual and otherwise , to take seriously science's claim to be able to provide "truthful" accounts of natural processes, and to re-evaluate the role that such truth claims play in non-scientific literature.
To treat all descriptions of nature as being first and foremost products of social power games and ideological forces, as some proponents of post-structuralist theory and cultural studies are wont to do, obscures the issue just as much as it helps to elucidate it.
For example, it must enable us to distinguish between that which is produced by humans and that which in a significant sense produces itself: That all criteria by which we judge the mimetic accuracy of a representation are necessarily a matter of convention, as Dana Phillips has rightly pointed out in his forceful polemic against Buell, hardly discredits the project as such.
The process of conforming to the codes begins when one accepts that the type of accent or dress one puts on really matters. We can think of it as a kind of culture, with local and historical variations, requiring efforts of study and adaptation. Buell However, this description also suggests that environmental repre- sentation is not so much about the imitation of physical objects but rather about the performance and promulgation of certain social codes - which is probably the reason why Buell does not really follow up on the implications of his analogy.
The quoted passage points towards a concept of mimesis that is quite different from the one that Buell upholds in other parts of The Environmental Imagination. There, the term "mimesis" designates the accurate rendition of the physical genetically modified corn are constructed, and these in turn differ substantially from such things as a computer or a house cf.
Benton Phillipps For an account that treats realistic modes of representation as entirely conventional while maintaining the claim that the internal dynamics of their developement are dependent on the relation between representation and world - an account that is therefore able "to explain the paradox that the world can never quite look like a picture, but a picture can look like the world" Gombrich Gombrich's magisterial Art and Illusion The Lorax, anthropocentrism, and the problem of mimesis world - it is predicated on the "mastery of environmental fact, texture and nuance" Buell Significantly, Buell also uses the term "outer mimesis," and he makes it quite clear that this ought to be understood largely along the lines of the Horatian imperative of classical poetics: I shall not venture too far into the details of the elaborate argument by which Buell tries to circumvent the metaphysical pitfalls of this venerable model of literary representation.
My concern is rather with the ethical basis of his argument for the rehabilitation of mimesis. For Buell, the accurate representation of the environment is part and parcel of his biocentric creed. It is not only an aesthetic ideal but, even more importantly, an ethical duty.
Insofar as it shows respect for the facticity of nature and abstains from imposing human meaning on it, faithful mimesis constitutes a necessary step towards acknowledging the intrinsic value of the natural world: Buell's plea for the rehabilitation of "outer mimesis" is thus based on the notion that nature possesses a kind of intrinsic normativity.
His claim that the ethical force of a text is directly related to its capacity for accurate representation rests on the tacit assumption that the knowledge of nature's materiality and structure is in itself sufficient to ground claims as to what constitutes proper behaviour towards nature: She will value nature not for its utilities or the aesthetic gratification it affords her, but for its own sake, and will act accordingly. The best description of nature is therefore a description that does not try to turn it into a symbol or an allegory, but lets the ecological facts "speak for themselves" - an achievement that does not come easily but is the result of a process in which the artist must struggle against the deeply ingrained tendency to project his own human desires onto nature.
It requires a kind of asceticism which denies itself even "the most basic pleasures of homocentrism: I believe that the ideal of an "environmentally responsive" text as Buell expounds it here is based on a profound misconception of the Hannes Bergthaller The Lorax, anthropocentrism, and the problem of mimesis nature of ethical commitments in general and the sources of litera- ture's ethical force in particular.
Following theorists such as Paul Ricoeur, Hayden White and Jerome Bruner, I want to argue that it is precisely the narrative dimension of a text that opens up the space for ethical reflection.
In order to substantiate this claim, I will examine a text which has a lesser claim on literary fame than Walden or other works from the ecocritical canon such as Aldo Leopold's A Sand County Almanack or Rachel Carson's Silent Spring, but which has arguably played a crucial part in the spread of an "ecological con- sciousness" in the US.
Most importantly for my purposes, it has the merit of failing utterly to meet Buell's criteria for an "environ- mentally oriented work" Buell The story of The Lorax Theodore Geisel's The Lorax was published in , only one year after the first Earth Day, at a time when what historian Leslie Thiele calls the "third wave" of environmentalism was cresting Thiele It has since become a mainstay of environmental education at the elementary school level.
According to the author, better known as Dr. Since readers not from the U. It appears that the logging industry are not the only ones to get huffy about the political nature of Geisel's text: Random House rejected my request to reproduce some illustrations from The Lorax in this article, since the latter "was an argument regarding the environment, whereas the former "was meant for children" personal commication, Dec.
The boy stares at a street-sign that reads "The Street of the Lifted Lorax". The next panel spells out the question written in the little ' boy's face, in the same catchy anapaestic metre which the text will ', maintain throughout: He knows".
The flashback begins with the Old Once-ler's arrival by covered wagon in a pop art landscape of green hills and brightly j coloured "Truffula Trees", contrasting strongly with the sombre greys and blues which dominated the depiction of the diegetic present.
It is the Truffula trees that ; catch the Once-ler's fancy. Just as he has finished knitting, a gnomish little creature with a bright yellow moustache pops out of the Truffula stump and scolds the.
Once-ler with a voice "that was sharpish and bossy": I speak for the trees. This thing is a Thneed. It's a sock. It's a glove. It's a hat. Yes, far beyond that.
Since the thneeds ' sell so well, the Once-ler sets up a factory, calls up his relatives, and, Hannes Bergthaller ignoring the Lorax's continuous protests and employing an ever growing array of strange mechanical contraptions, sets out to log off the Truffula forest. First, the Brown Barba-loots leave, because they cannot find food; then the Swomee Swans take off, because the air has become so bad that they cannot sing any more; the Humming Fish follow when their pond has become a "Gluppity Glupp" that gums up their gills, as the Lorax laments: The last one to leave is the Lorax: Just gave me a glance Treat it with care.
And feed it fresh air. Protect it from axes that hack. None of the characters presented seem to owe much to the kind of "disciplined extrospection" he demands - with their un- abashed anthropomorphism, the "Brown Barba-loots" and "Swomee Swans" have far more in common with the creatures that people Geisel's other children's books or even Disney cartoons than with live Brown Bears or Whooping Cranes.
They are highly stylized tokens that stand for whole genera of animals mammals, birds, fishes rather The Lorax, anthropocentrism, and the problem of mimesis than for any particular species, and the way in which they are depicted indicates that the text lays far more importance on the function they fulfil in the narrative - namely, as innocent victims of the Once-ler's greed - than on the creatures as such.
For purposes of "external reference" Buell The only point at which the text makes explicit reference to the "real world" is the passage mentioning Lake Erie. Even though Geisel's text eschews "outer mimesis," it would obviously be wrong to accuse it of indifference towards questions of ecology.
The narrative is easily recognizable as a paraphrase of those stories of environmental destruction with which the public had become familiar in the course of the decade preceding the Lorax' publication. The exodus of the mammals, birds and fishes closely parallels the disappearance of wildlife described, for example, in Rachel Carson's Silent Spring.
The fact that we only get to see his hands, which merge seamlessly with his machines and are always busy operating levers or counting money, supports his identification with "the Machine," as cultural critic Lewis Mumford would have called it, whose analyses of the latent totalitarianism of Cold War-technocracy had a profound influence on the environmental movement.
Carson Snyder Mumford Accordingly, the "Thneeds", those "Fine-Somethings-That-All-People-Need", may be taken to stand for the principles of utility, of the exchange value and of the process of commodification, or, in a more narrow sense, for the flood of ephemeral, disposable goods produced by market capitalism. Their absurd appearance indicates that the "needs" which the Once-ler purports to satisfy are spurious and may even be "manufactured", as Ludwig Marcuse famously claimed, in order to prop up an exploit- ative system.
The sentence on the trucks delivering the "thneeds" is a poignant parody of the countless slogans by which the advertisement industry tries to stimulate consumption: In the Once-ler's tale, the 'Thneeds" rhyme with yet another good whose accumulation turns out to be the true motive behind his obsession with growth: So bigger I got.
I biggered my roads. Against this background, one might conclude that it is possible, after all, to read even this text in the "non-fictional" mode proposed by Buell and to thus recover its "referential dimension": The text's ethical force would thus flow from the possibility of mapping it back onto an already given reality; its authority and legitimacy would be a function of its relation to the real environment. Significantly, this mode of authorization is figured within the text by the eponymous character who continually admonishes the Once-ler about the ecological costs of his practices: Sprung from the stump of a tree, he stands in a synecdochical relation to the forest and is thus in an ideal position to represent it politically.
This is precisely the privileged position from which biocentric ecocritics like to see their canonical authors speaking: According to this model, the goal of reading must therefore be to share the knowledge of the author - to acquire "ecoliteracy" - in order to enable the reader to enter the site from which the Lorax is speaking.
That this might indeed be the way in which the Lorax "wants" to be read is indicated by the fact that at the end of the text, the little boy, who functions throughout the text as a stand-in for the reader, comes to stand within the stone circle "where the Lorax once stood": Narrative mimesis of action Yet, if we thus read the text in terms of the facts - if we, in Buell's terms, make it "accountable" to nature's facticity - are we not already reading the facts in terms of the text?
What enables us to map the world of the text back onto the extra-textual world is not the similarity of its characters and objects to actual persons or objects, but the structural affinity of its plot to the narratives of environmentalism.
After all, the assumption that the Truffula forest represents the forests of America is convincing not because the two are similar in any significant sense but because both are cut down; that the Once-ler should stand for certain corporations is plausible because the latter have already been assigned a similar role within the story of ecological crisis.
Before we can proceed to read The Lorax literally, we must already have understood it as a kind of allegory: If it is the way in which the different elements of the story are arranged into a plot that allows us to read it as a story about real events, it is this plot, as well, from which its ethical imperative originates. As a story, it tells not only of facts, causes and effects, but, more importantly, of motives and intentions: Thus it is not the facticity of the events comprised by a narrative which lends ethical force to the Hannes Bergthaller latter, but the way in which the events are "emplotted", i.
The sequence of events presented by the text is thus not "necessary" and determined in the way of natural processes, but results from misinterpretations and decisions on the part of one of the characters - the Truffulas could have been saved, if the Once-ler hadn't been such a mean, hard- headed curmudgeon.
Thus the narrative locates the actual course of action within a horizon of possible, alternative stories, in the manner described by Wolfgang Iser Iser If the story had merely presented us with a chain of material causes and effects - such as we assume to govern the "factual environment" - there would seem to be no need for the moral conversion which is dramatized at the end of The Lorax: Only because the story is couched in what the psychologist Jerome Bruner calls a "dual landscape", because it presents the actual course of events from the perspective of possible alternative courses, can the moral injunction at the end of the text get any traction: On the last pages of the book, there can be little doubt which of the two worlds we are to prefer - the last sentences seem to spell out the message of the Lorax as clearly as possible: Protect it from axes that hack".
It is this moment in the narrative at which the Once-ler himself grasps the meaning of his own tale and phrases it as an explicit moral imperative, in such a way that the understanding of the homodiegetic narrator coincides with that of the reader. The sky is now of the same light blue that once stretched above the Truffula forest, as if the ideal past were shedding its light on a better future. The falling seed illustrates that moment of conversion on which the tale as a whole has been converging - it visualizes a "passage from one moral order to another" such as constitutes the only satisfying ending of any historical narrative, according to Hayden White White Insofar as The Lorax is read as a didactic parable, the arc of the seed can be interpreted as a mise-en-abyme of the narrative's own trajectory, whose hopeful message is supposed to fall on the fertile ground of a child's soul: At the end of the story, the seed is suspended in mid-air.
In order to catch it, to achieve the closure which the text withholds, the reader must reach beyond the text and take the leap from the fictional world of the text into her own lifeworld - i. Such a conversion is, I submit, the object of all texts that strive to "raise consciousness" or aim at any sort of political effect - and it bears repeating that this conversion is not something that can be traced back to "facts," but an effect of the narrative's structure.
If we take another look at the way in which Buell advances the "Walden project" as a model case for environmentalist writing, it will become apparent that this is true of his own argument, as well. Buell commends the "Walden project" as being a record and model of a western sensibility working with and through the constraints of Eurocentric, androcentric, homocentric culture to arrive at an environmentally responsive vision.
The legitimacy of this story rests not on the "facts" whose faithful representation Buell urges or on its stable reference to an extra-textual ecological reality, but on the way in which it calls up and reconfigures narrative patterns that are rooted in the cultural heritage of the community he addresses. As for the concept of "biotic egalitarianism" Buell American thought may be by way of reference to another canonical author of environmentalism in the U.
In his diaries, Abbey writes: Among these are the right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness [ With characteristic brazenness, Abbey shows that his biocentric creed appropriates and refashions the basic tenets of American liberalism, in which a state of nature had always figured as the transcendental blueprint for a perfect society.
According to the master narrative of American liberalism, the original freedom of the individual has fallen victim to artificial social arrangements; it is the historical mission of the American nation to restore these rights and to lead humankind back into the garden. Carolyn Merchant traces this narrative back to the biblical story of the Fall and identifies it as the ideological basis of the Euro-American conquest and settlement of the North American continent: The concept of recovery, as it emerged in the seventeenth century, not only meant a recovery from the Fall but also entailed restoration of health, reclamation of land, and recovery of property.
The recovery plot is the long, slow process of returning humans to the Garden of Eden through labor in the earth. Three subplots organize its argument: Christian religion, modem science, and capitalism. The Genesis story of the fall provides the beginning; science and capitalism, the middle; recovery of the garden, the end.
Merchant For writers such as Edward Abbey, Rachel Carson, Aldo Leopold or Gary Snyder, the garden is no longer located in a genuinely pre-historical past, but can be histori- cally and geographically pinpointed: The Fall is no longer seen as the result of Eve's illicit desire to know good from evil, but as a consequence of man's drive to master nature.
Capitalism, formerly regarded as instrumental to the recovery of the garden, is now seen as the principal expression of this destructive drive. Thus the legitimacy of the project of restoring humankind's original relation to nature - of re-inhabitation, re-cuperation, re- habilitation, and of so many other composites beginning with the prefix "re-" - does finally not rest on the possibility of accurately representing the "facts" of nature, but rather on a re-configuration of the narrative schemata by means of which a culture produces meaning and a shared identity.
It is these narrative schemata which allow individuals to enter into a meaningful relation to their social and natural environment - a relation in which things don't merely "happen" and in which the question "why" cannot be answered with recourse to chains of cause and effect, but requires that the motives and intentions of the actors be addressed.