Tuesday, August 10, 2010

The Giving Tree (and the Selfish Boy?)


I have no idea that this book had actually generated controversy until I read more about it in Wikipedia.

I was impressed the first time I read it and I can say that I was also touched. Well, I think it was because of the tree being sacrificial to the boy it loved so much.

I hope that you would also or got the chance to read Shel Silverstein's The Giving Tree.

So, is it really just a one-sided relationship after all?

(click the image to visit Shel's official site)

As Ben Jackson, a professor of Religious Studies at Stanford University puts it:

Is this a sad tale? Well, it is sad in the same way that life is depressing. We are all needy, and, if we are lucky and any good, we grow old using others and getting used up. Tears fall in our lives like leaves from a tree. Our finitude is not something to be regretted or despised, however; it is what makes giving (and receiving) possible. The more you blame the boy, the more you have to fault human existence. The more you blame the tree, the more you have to fault the very idea of parenting. Should the tree's giving be contingent on the boy's gratitude? If it were, if fathers and mothers waited on reciprocity before caring for their young, then we would all be doomed.

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