The Giving Tree


Most of us have heard of the book The Giving Tree by Shel Silverstein, if you haven’t, read it.  I personally don’t own a copy, though my mother had one.  I have gripped onto this story in several ways.  I even translated into French for a high assignment.  It was I think the only time I didn’t cry or get teary eyed reciting the story to my class in another language.  Most of the time by the end of The Giving Tree tears are streaming down my face really to even sobbing uncontrollably for it is one of my most loved, frightening and saddest books ever.  I feel this way because it tells of a love that was never reciprocated.  No matter what the tree offered she was still sat upon, a stump so happy her friend was back. That love that has perplexed me, has now become my life.  Really I have so little to offer anyone anymore for most of it is gone, hardly even a memory, except love.  The tree gave and gave until she had nothing, thinking he would love her just the same, by helping him so much, that is support, that is love. 

This is where the debate takes place.  Would you give so much of yourself, knowing you couldn’t grow fruit, leaves, limbs, or even rings to show your age anymore. We hear of sacrifices by men and women in the armed forces, or as cops, or even fire fighters.  They  do it for the love of their country and all the people within it.  That is support, that is love.  I ask is it silly, stupid, or insane to love something so much you are willing to sacrifice everything for it?  You don’t tell them they don’t love themselves for putting their lives on the line, so why would you say the tree doesn’t love herself her sacrifices was for the love of another person in a different way.  

The trees simple demands of wanting to love and be loved in return only left her a stump. This tree gave her life, even if she wanted to she couldn’t protect herself as trees have no defense against humans.  I ask you who was at fault the guy taking everything away until there was only a stump left or the tree that loved so much until she was a stump? Either answer makes me cry.

-Jennie Nawrocki 

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