The Giving Tree

The Giving Tree: A Story of Greed and Incognizance 8th Grade

In The Giving Tree, written by Shel Silverstein, a boy grows up playing with a tree of whom provides shade and comfort. However, as the boy realizes what the tree has to offer he begins to relate happiness with materialism. Yet as the tree sacrifices everything it is made of for the boy’s own good, the tree remains happy until it becomes a stump. After the boy grows too old for any other activities/desires, he resides in the comfort of the tree (despite being a stump) just as he had started. This brings him to realize that the only thing he needed was a quiet place to sit and rest. At the same time, this brings attention to the idea of what we as humans start off and end with. If we all start off and end our lives with simplicity and a sense of equality (through learning), then why do humans reach a point of materialism for themselves at a medium in their life?

At the most fundamental level, this story interpolates two ideas, greed and incognizance. Along one path (greed), we see that the tree is as happy to give as the boy is to receive. However, the tree changes feelings when it donates what makes the tree “giving.” This can be interpreted differently where the boy and the tree are singular, representative of a human alone....

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