The Giving Tree Essay, Research Paper
The Giving Tree is a modern children literature written by Shel Siverstien, which is also one of his first successful piece of work. It is about an apple tree who always gives and gives and a boy who always takes and takes. This might be another story to read before bed times for the kids but however, it portrays so many things, from deforestation to modern society. Personally, I believe that The Giving Tree portrays the theme of selflessness versus selfishness, like the unconditional love a parent has for his or her child.
“I have only leaves and apples. Take my apples, Boy, and sell them in the city. Then you will be happy. And so the boy climbed up the tree and gathered her apples and carried them away. And the tree was happy.” It might be hard for people my age, including me, who are fortunate enough to have parents taking care of us to understand the feeling of “happiness” that the tree has. Anyhow, I believe that our parents will understand the feeling of the tree within no time due to the unconditional love they always provide for their children. Like the tree, our parents are the givers, they always take care of us emotionally and physically making sure that we will be happy. The boy on the other hand is like us, the children who are used to receiving and receiving, so much that we take it for granted, so sometimes, we tend to forget to think about the tree or our parents.
“Blessed is the mother who is able to help her child, at whatever age. This truth about parental happiness is surly known by any loving parents who has been compelled to watch impotently while his child is suffering.” The example to prove this statement can be seen all through the story. “The forest is my house, but you may cut of my branches and build a house. Then you will be happy. And so the boy cut of her branches and carried them away to build his house. And the tree was happy.” On the other hand, the boy still stays inconsiderate and selfish. He never even once mention to the tree how thankful he is or even a simply “thank you”. “The love of the tree for the boy or the man is a selfless love, while the love of the boy for the tree is a selfish love. The boy never tries to help the tree (by pruning, feeding it, et cetera), while the entire being of the tree is devoted to helping the boy meet his most recent need, whether trivial or essential.”
Due to the popularity of the book, many people commented on it and so there are many different ideas, which can be view differently according to the readers’ own judgement. “ The boy is after all doing what is required of human being to do: he is growing up, going away, making himself a living, cleaving unto a wife, and later, in his declining years, finding a life for himself and finally, growing old and in need of a place to rest.” Surly, a person needs to get older and to move on but I do not think that this is the massage that the author is trying to emphasis since it will make the children become more selfish and considerate. The Giving Tree might portray the theme of selflessness versus selfishness but for the children to realize it and learn to give and take, not for the children to get use to it.
“Well, said the tree, straightening herself up as much as she could, well, and old stump is good for sitting and resting. Come, Boy, sit down. Sit down and rest. And the boy did. And the tree was happy.” In the end, the boy comes back to the tree and finds the pure and willing unconditional love that the tree always provides. All through the story, the author beautifully portrays the love and scarifies of the parents and how inconsiderate a child can be in response within the theme of selflessness and selfishness. Fortunately, a child will read The Giving Tree and be able to interpret the story correctly. Anyhow, it still due to the child’s judgement and the child was thought.