Ecocriticism and Children's Literature: Dr. Seuss's The Lorax as an Example

Hisham Muhamad Ismail


Ecocriticism gained a growing interest from researchers and writers on different levels to examine the significance of this newly added area of literary studies. It enabled the readers to understand their society's environmental issues in a better way and encouraged them to deal with them positively. It also drew attention to the different negative behaviors and attitudes towards nature to the limit that may damage natural resources and affect future generations. Furthermore, ecocriticism played a vital role in restructuring a more balanced and harmonious relationship between human and non-human beings within society by building a peaceful coexistence among all members of society. This paper offers the necessary theoretical framework for ecocriticism and examines its mechanisms to analyze literary texts. The paper also testifies the relationship between ecocriticism and children's literature to show the best ways of using these children's books to build a robust background for those young generations and to form their attitudes toward natural resources for the betterment of all in a more sustainable society. Finally, the paper examines Dr. Seuss's The Lorax as an example of a children's book with many environmental references and educational lessons. The Lorax's story revolves around the Once-ler, who destroys the balance between nature and other factors through his insistence on mass-producing useless and environmentally harmful goods. Ecocritics used this story to expose different messages about environmental responsibility and the consequences of reckless attitudes toward natural resources. In this way, the paper encourages the importance of further studies on ecocriticism and the further enhancement of using children's books to increase environmental awareness.

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World Journal of English Language
ISSN 1925-0703(Print)  ISSN 1925-0711(Online)

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