829 Southdrive

829 Southdrive

A New Jersey state of mind

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

The Giving Tree

I've read this to my girls dozens of times. The
fable does not ever get old.   


  1. Sorry Baydog, but I don't like this story. The boy never gives anything to the tree. He's a selfish little s**t. The story teaches to take from those - people, trees, the planet - who give, and not to have any appreciation or remorse for the consequences.

    It seems analogous to what we humans are doing to the planet. We need to stop.

  2. Well I don't believe that the death of one tree is a huge argument for climate change,

  3. True, Panda, but I think a clue to Silverstein's intended theme is in the title - he didn't call it The Taking Boy. There is love that sacrifices and nurtures without a thought to what will be received in return.

    I think Silverstein was known for the sly, quirky, often dark side of his tales, which were usually more grim than those of the brothers Grimm.

  4. In a way, being a parent is like being the Giving Tree. You will always do everything you can for your children. And I guess money does grow on trees sometimes....

  5. I had never heard the story before. I guess it works so well because it can be interpreted in so many ways. God, Mother Nature, Earth, Community, Friend, Parent. What is the tree that gives?

    Whatever you think the tree is, Panda's comment is still relevant. Is it right to be a "taker' all your life. Does that make you happy in the end? Is that a sustainable way to live?

  6. When I posted this, I never thought of the thoughts it might provoke. Or is it evoke?
    Mojo, I need your help....
    And leave it to three of my more eloquent readers
    (I have three?) to post such thoughtful comments.

  7. Dog - Both provoke and evoke.

    Echoing O'Docker, compare Silverstein's characterization of the tree vs. the "boy", the later being a joyless, worn-out taker, and the former a devoted giver of all (and more) that he has to share.

    I love the stark contrast. Most of us place ourselves somewhere between the two.

    1. Thanks, Mojo. Make that four of the more eloquent readers.