skip to main | skip to sidebar
Home » , » The Giving Tree Summary and Analysis


Shel Silverstein is the author of the well-known children's book "The Giving Tree." The story has very little text, and like many children's books, the illustrations are very important to how the story goes. "The Giving Tree," one of Shel Silverstein's best-known works, was also controversial for its depiction of female exploitation and anthropocentric views of nature.

The story of a tree and a young boy is told in "The Giving Tree." The story takes place in an unknown location, and neither of the characters is given a name. Despite the fact that we are so familiar with the book, these particulars are significant to note: We are not distracted from the relationship between those two characters by any unnecessary information.

When a young boy plays in its branches and rests under it, the tree is happy. As the boy gets older, he stops coming to see the tree, but one day, after a long absence, he comes back. The boy says that he is too big for that now and wants money instead of being asked to play like before by the tree. He tells her that if she gives him apples from her orchard, he will sell them in town and make a lot of money so he can have fun (the kind of fun is not specified in the story). The tree accepts this arrangement because she believes that having more money will make her happier.

The tree is happy to see the boy back after a long absence, but it is also sad to see him. The youngster asserts that because he desires a wife and child, he is too busy to play with the tree any longer. He requests a house from the tree, who tragically lets him know she doesn't have one to give. But if he takes her branches and holds them in his arms, they'll be like building blocks that he can use to construct his own house.

After many years, a boy leaves a tree and returns. The tree is delighted to see him when he returns. The youngster declares that he intends to construct a boat in order to leave the island. He is informed by the tree that she does not possess a boat but is offered her trunk instead. The tree feels a little sad after the boy leaves once more, this time for good because she was "happy...but not really."

One last time, the boy goes to the tree. He shows up after some unspecified time and informs her that she has nothing left to give him: no more apples, branches or trunk (he's excessively old for those things). She is now nothing more than an empty stump. He rests himself on it anyway. The tree is cheerful about this since she had the option to help him out in his period of scarcity.

The Giving Tree by Shel Silverstein is both moving and frustrating because of its ambiguity. Because of its minimalism, it requires the reader to actively participate in the meaning-making process, which can be challenging. In the past, readers have used this story as a blank canvas on which to project their relationship anxieties. However, I believe Silverstein wants to emphasize this ambiguity: he might maintain that we should stress over cozy connections by and large as opposed to a specific relationship dynamic.


All through the book, there are numerous topics present. Some individuals believe that the book depicts the bond between a parent and their child. The boy would be the child, and the tree would be the parent. A parent frequently gives so much to their children that they have nothing left to give. In the long run, the parent's selflessness leads to their own demise. Even though the parent has given so much to their children, they rarely receive a "thank you," but they are still content that they can provide for them. Some critics view the boy, or child, as an egotistical individual who only takes without being grateful, while others view the tree, or parental figure, as an enabler.

The relationship between humans and the Earth is another well-known concept that this book represents. The boy would be the human race, and the tree would be the Earth. Humans today have a propensity to continually extract resources from the Earth without considering how this is affecting the planet.

In a strict focal point, this book can address the relationship that God has with His kin. The boy would represent His people, the humans, and the tree God. The book shows that God will always be there for His people when they need help in these terms. The book may also serve as a religious symbol of unrestricted love.

In a philosophical manner, the Morals branch is obvious in The Giving Tree. This is due to the fact that it encourages readers to inquire as to the reasons behind people's actions. Children may ask the following questions: If the tree is destroying herself, why did she keep giving? For what reason does the kid just take from the tree? Why does the tree never complain? What is the tree's happy thing? The boy returns to the tree for what reason?

Overall, Shel Silverstein's The Giving Tree is a beautifully written children's book about selfless giving and the relationships that all people have.

The Giving Tree


Post a Comment

Back To Top