The Kid Should See This

Shel Silverstein’s The Giving Tree

Written (and narrated) by Shel Silverstein, a ten minute animated short of a classic story: The Giving Tree, from OpenCulture:

Back in 1964, Shel Silverstein wrote The Giving Tree, a widely loved children’s book written now translated into more than 30 languages. It’s a story about the human condition, about giving and receiving, using and getting used, neediness and greediness, although many finer points of the story are open to interpretation.

More on that via Wikipedia:

The book has generated various opinions on how to interpret the relationship between the tree and the boy. Some possible interpretations include:

  • The tree represents Mother Nature and the boy represents humanity.
  • The tree and the boy are friends (i.e., “the message of the tale is seen as a relationship between adults”).
  • The tree and the boy have a parent-child relationship.

A 1998 study using phenomenographic methods found that Swedish children and mothers tended to interpret the book as dealing with friendship, while Japanese mothers tended to interpret the book as dealing with parent-child relationships.

What do you think the story is about?


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