The Giving Tree Essay

628 Words Apr 22nd, 2006 3 Pages
Shel Silverstein was born on September 25, 1930. He was a cartoonist, guitarist and song writer as well as an author. Although he never planned on writing for children ("Shel Silverstein Teacher Resources file" 2) one of his most famous children's books is The Giving Tree. Silverstein says "It's just a relationship between two people, one gives and the other takes."(Lingerman, 1) But according to critics the tree and the boy in Shel Silverstein's The Giving Tree can represent different things. Some critics believe they can represent a mother's love and a child. Others say they can represent a selfless female and a selfish male. While others believe they can represent God and a person.

"The giving tree, identified as female, is an image
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(Lindsey, 2) Others argue as William Werpehowski's six-year-old son Stephen says "… she loved the boy, and she wanted to make him happy."( 9) The tree chose not to receive anything in return because giving made her happy. Thus showing the selfless giving of the female and the selfishness of the male.

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Ministers believe The Giving Tree is an example of Christian self-sacrifice. ( Kimmel, 1) The tree gives the boy everything he wants and needs until she is nothing but a stump. Just like God "the tree is gladly crucified on the cross of itself. This joy in service marks the tree as the type of Christ." (May, et. al., 14) The tree never asks for anything in return except for the boy's love. Although the boy never says "thank you" we can infer that he appreciates everything the tree does for him because the heart with the letters "M.E & T" that he carved into the tree when he was young is never defaced through out the story.(May, et. al., 7)

According to critics the tree and the boy in Shel Silverstein's The Giving Tree can represent different things. Most argue that they can both represent a mother's love and a child. Others argue that they represent a selfless female and a selfish male. While others say that they represent God and a

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