The Giving Tree is a story about the relationship between a boy and a tree. When the boy was young he and the tree became really good friends. The tree is sort of like a provider for the boy and always gives him what he needs, such as vines to swing from, shade to sit in, apples to eat, branches to build a house, a trunk to build a boat and a stump to sit on. As the boy got older the tree gave more, as the boy wanted more from her and because the tree loves the boy a lot she gives him everything she can to make him happy.
When glanced at, you would think The Giving Tree is just another narrative poem meant to be read to a child before they go to bed. The figurative language that Shel Silverstein used in, The Giving Tree, included refrain, personification, and it was a narrative poem. The Giving Tree had many different meanings, but there was the one that kids’ moms are willing to self-sacrifice for them and they take it for granted. The poem, The Giving Tree, could be used as preparation for the future, by telling kids around the world how much their moms do for them on a daily basis and how much it means for them to get a “thank you” every once and a while.
On the surface, this poem just resembles another story, simply meant to be read to children by their parents before they go to bed, but there are more meanings to this poem/story. One meaning I took away from The Giving Tree is selfish love in the long run will hurt the lover which in this case was the boy and also that unselfish love will hurt the lover in the long run which in this story was the tree. Another meaning that can be taken from The Giving Tree is the portrayal of a mother and a son. The first thing within this poem was selfish and unselfish love. The boy showed selfish love and the tree showed unselfish love.
A meaning that could be taken from these things was the fact that in the long run both of these will hurt the people who show them (selfish and unselfish love). During the course of the story, the boy showed selfish love by doing things such as, taking the tree’s apples to make money, taking the tree’s branches to build a house, and taking the trunk to build a boat. This hurt the boy because he took away his only friend in life and became unhappy because he always needed more than he could get and/or provide on his own, which caused him to take more from the tree he “loved”.
The tree in The Giving Tree showed unselfish love towards the boy whenever he came and asked for more from the tree. This hurt the tree in the long run because the boy just kept coming and taking more and more and the tree loved the boy so selflessly that she gave him everything she could to make him happy. Although after she gave away her trunk she was happy, but not really. So in the end of the story, the tree had given so much to the boy, that she had nothing left to give and she was left with nothing but a trunk.