Saturday, July 26, 2008
The Giving Tree
Okay, so the anonymous commentor asked my interpretation of the giving tree. I watched it and will tell you what I think.
I hate it. I have always hated it. I feel sorry for the tree and I don't like the thoughtless taking of the boy. But that is not a comment on the work itself. I think this is what Shel Silverstien intended -- what the story is supposed to do. I think it is supposed to create revultion and subversively critique the idea of "selfless sacrifice."
I have heard many people talk about how beautiful the tree is, because it just gives and gives with no thought for itself -- just a desire to make the boy happy. Whatever. That's one way of looking at it I suppose. But I think the irony is built in, when it says "the boy loved the tree." Really? What is love? The boy takes and takes and never gives. Does calling exploitation "love" really make it love?
And the tree is pathetic enough to allow all thist to happen. Why? What's so special about this boy? Couldn't other kids have come to pick the apples and play in the tree and climb up the trunk? Not after the boy who (supposedly) loved it was finished destroying it.
So that's my interpretation of it, jaded and cynical as it is. What do you think?