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All My Brown Bar-ba-loots (1 Viewer)

cellardoor

Senior Member
(a comparison between The Lorax and All My Sons)

The problems in Dr. Suess's The Lorax and Arthur Miller's All My Sons are both created when a business focuses more on money than their responsibility to the rest of the world. In The Lorax, the Once-ler destroys a forest of Truffula Trees, ruining the habitat for the animals dwelling there (Brown Bar-ba-loots, Swomee-Swans, Humming-Fish) in order to make Thneeds from Truffula tufts. The Thneed can be basically anything, and represents anything: "A Thneed´s a Fine-Something-That-All-People-Need! It´s a shirt. It´s a sock. It´s a glove. It´s a hat. But it has other uses. Yes, far beyond that. You can use it for carpets. For pillows! For sheets! Or curtains! Or covers for bicycle seats!" Or cylinder heads for warplanes. The entire forest is cut down, and along with it the Brown Bar-ba-loots' food is gone, the air is all smogged up so the Swomee-Swans can't sing, and the pond where the Humming-Fish hummed is full of gloppity-glop. The Lorax pops out of the stump of the first Truffula Tree chopped down and throughout the book begs the Once-ler to stop, until eventually, after the very last Truffula tree is chopped down, he sends the animals off to find another forest, and the Lorax is lifted away through the last hole in the smog, leaving only a small brick monument with the word "UNLESS". The Once-ler's business crumbles.

In All My Sons, it's revealed that Joe Keller had a bunch of cracked cylinder heads made up to look fine sent to the Army for planes. Twenty-one pilots died from those, Joe's business partner and friend took the entire punishment for it, Joe's own son, a pilot in the war, killed himself, and eventually Joe lost his other son's respect and took his own life.

The things lost are different- the environment, twenty-two pilots and a son's respect- but the general message is the same: responsibility for the rest of the world. At the end of The Lorax, the Once-ler has finished telling his story and he realizes what "UNLESS" means:

"UNLESS someone like you cares a whole awful lot, nothing is going to get better.** It´s not. SO... Catch! calls the Once-ler. He lets something fall.It´s a Truffula Seed. It´s the last one of all! You´re in charge of the last of the Truffula Seeds. And Truffula Trees are what everyone needs. Plant a new Truffula. Treat it with care. Give it clean water. And feed it fresh air. Grow a forest. Protect it from axes that hack. Then the Lorax and all of his friends may come back."

At the end of All My Sons, Chris explains why his father must try to make amends by turning himself in to the police:

"You can be better! Once and for all you can know there's a universe of people outside and you're responsible to it, and unless you know you threw away your son because that's why he died." (69)
 
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