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Old June 2 2010, 08:15 PM   #1
Vanyel
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Location: San Antonio, Texas
The Giving Tree

I found this video on youtube


I really liked the story and it is a found memory of my childhood. Then I read this at Wikipedia:

Some academic readers describe the book as portraying a vicious, one-sided relationship between the tree and the boy: with the tree as the selfless giver and the boy as a greedy and insatiable entity who constantly receives, yet never gives anything back to the tree; a selfish love that could be misrepresented and imitated by its young readers. Indeed, some of these speakers single the tree out as an irresponsible parent whose self-sacrifice has left the boy ill-equipped. Other readers argue that the tree gives everything to the boy freely because she loves him, and its feelings are reciprocated by the boy when he returns to the tree for a rest. In this way, the relationship between the tree and the boy as he grows up could be viewed as similar to that between a mother and her child; despite getting nothing in return for a long time, the tree puts the boy's needs foremost, because it wants him to be happy. Indeed, the only time the tree ever seems to be sad is when it feels that it has nothing left to give the boy and that the boy might never return.
Link to Wikipedia.

So it got me thinking, was this a story about a selfish boy who is a user and a tree that just enables him? or is it a metaphor about the unconditional love a mother has for her child?

At first I thought of it as the the latter. Now watching the story again and reading the article in Wikipedia, I'm not so sure. The boy does seem selfish, and the tree a pushover, giving everything to a user.

I'm starting to see the book that way. What do you guys think?
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Imogene, get serious! Who do you think you're talking to?! I've known you for 27 years, and all I can say is, if God was giving out sexually transmitted diseases to people as a punishment for sinning, then you would be at the free clinic all the time! And so would the rest of us!
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Old June 3 2010, 12:07 AM   #2
John Picard
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Re: The Giving Tree

Wow! Thank you so very much for posting that. That story popped into my head a while back, and it's something I want my son to see. Like yourself, it harkens back to my youth.

As to your question, I think the pessimists see the boy as being selfish. It's a wonderful story of unconditional love.
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Old June 3 2010, 01:06 AM   #3
Checkmate
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Re: The Giving Tree

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Old June 3 2010, 01:11 AM   #4
Vanyel
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Re: The Giving Tree

That was too funny.
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Imogene, get serious! Who do you think you're talking to?! I've known you for 27 years, and all I can say is, if God was giving out sexually transmitted diseases to people as a punishment for sinning, then you would be at the free clinic all the time! And so would the rest of us!
--Julia Sugarbaker
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