And the tree was happy… but not really.

From The Giving Tree

A friend of mine asked if I had ever read The Giving Tree. When I said no, he was like, “Oh man, you need to read it.”

So, I read it. To me the most interesting sentence in the whole book is the title of this article. Oh – spoiler alert. My bad.

People have used this story a lot of different ways based on what I see on the internet. It’s a representation of Christ’s unconditional love, a parable about how mankind abuses the environment, an exploration of how children exploit their parents.

Shel Silverstein wrote many cartoons for Playboy magazine, so that’s interesting, eh? They weren’t the salacious naughty kind – just odd humor. So you will read some stuff about how this beloved children’s book writer is a misogynist.

He apparently was not particularly fond of happy endings either:

So, I don’t know what to think of him or his books. But I do think maybe a companion volume to The Giving Tree might be Codependent No More.

7 thoughts on “And the tree was happy… but not really.

  1. ha ha ha I love it. I love the poem and I agree about the companion book to The Giving Tree.

    A student turned friend gave it to me back in the 70s and I thought it was beautiful. I was about to tear out the inscription she wrote and give it to the kids I hang out with, but then I read it and thought, “This is awful. I don’t want anyone growing up with this message which is ‘Divest yourself of yourself completely and you’ll be a stump for some old guy to sit on.” But I’m less deep than I was when I was younger. I’ve been striving toward superficiality and I have hope I might reach it pretty soon.

    Liked by 3 people

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