The other night, we watched The Lorax. And a thought occurred to me: the elder characters have their counterparts, their other, if you will, to whom the same choice was presented. The other simply chose differently.
My sister will just about kill me for this, but a confession: I’ve never actually read The Lorax. (Or if I have, I’ve long since forgotten.) So… yeah. I’ll just be going along with what the movie presents, as opposed to the book.
The Once-ler knows what he has done, and he knows it is wrong. He has, in his youth, justified to himself his actions; in his old age, he regrets but does not act, not until Ted comes along. Then he passes on the seed, knowing that what is right is not necessarily easy.
His opposite is Aloysius O’Hare: having gained his riches from selling people air (due to the lack of trees, thanks to the Once-ler), he too justifies his actions to himself. And again like the Once-ler, he too is presented with his redemption, his chance to change: let the seedling grow, or kill it.
For a moment we might think that he considers more than himself, but he disappoints us. This should be of no surprise, though; he has not yet had the downfall, the time, the long years, that the Once-ler has had to contemplate his errors. The one thing he lacks is then given to him.
Perhaps this, then, will provide the means for him to change. Perhaps, were we to visit O’Hare again in a decade or so, he too would share the love for nature and his fellow people. After all, no one is beyond redemption or hope. Perhaps all they need, sometimes, is time.