The Giving Tree Essay

Submitted By mbernal1
Words: 818
Pages: 4

Madison Bernal
Professor Redmond
English 1302
February 14, 2014 Sacrifices For Others When I was younger, my mom or dad would read my siblings and I bedtime stories. The books that were read to us always seemed so joyful with colorful pictures and characters that I would often imagine as myself. My parents would read to us in hope that we get something out of the books, like for us get along with each other and to be thankful for the things we had. My mother would always be the one to read Shel Silverstein’s poem, “The Giving Tree” which was a favorite read before bed. As a child, this book would leave me with delight. Having this read to me, I thought it had a fun and loving style. The speaker varies with the parental figure, and the theme is to appreciate the people who love you. When I read this poem now that I am older, I am left with bitter feelings towards the relationship, because I grasp different meanings within the words and personification with the characters that I did not notice before. Hearing this poem as a child, I assumed the tree and the boy were best friends who loved to play and be happy. I believed the relationship was only good because, “the tree was happy”, and the poem began with telling how they loved each other. Repeatedly throughout the book, I noticed how the tree was so nice to the boy and was always willing to help him. As I reread this poem when I became older, the patterns I saw were not just words being repeated. There was a repetition of selflessness, as well as greed, in the poem. Another thing I noticed differently was the illustrations in the story. Being younger, I saw the images only for good; I felt happy because the boy and the tree were together. As I grew older and saw the images over again, I could see how heartless the boy would be towards the tree by leaving her behind with less and less. When I was little, I knew the book was someone else’s story, and I assumed that it was a part of their life they were sharing. The tree was a talking tree, and I saw nothing wrong with that. Being so young, it was believable. The voice of who is telling the story now has changed. Just because Silverstein wrote the story does not mean he is the only one who can tell it. As I read the story, I imagine my mom speaking. My mother has been compassionate towards me all of my life and has never been selfish when I was in need of her. It is not only my mom that tells this story though, every parent figure who would do anything to make sure their loved one is happy is telling this story. As humans we care for other people, and we do generous acts for them, even if we do not have any gain from this. You really do love someone when you are willing to put his or her happiness before your own. Reading this poem, I feel that