My Own Shadow

 The Giving Tree by Shel Silverstein is a heart-touching poetry about a selfish boy and an altruist tree. The tree always gives the boy what he wants. When the boy was a child, the tree gave him apples to eat, and he used to play with the branches of the tree.  As the boys started to grow up, he wanted more and more. The tree gave him her apples to sell and earn money, branches to make a house, trunk to make a boat to enjoy his life, and finally the tree said him to sit on her remaining stamp when he grew older and wanted to take rest in a quiet place. The tree is really an epitome of selflessness. On the other hand, the boy is a symbol of selfishness. Every time he goes to the tree if he needs something to maintain his livelihood. He never thinks about the tree’s life; he thinks only how to survive his own life.

When I read this poem, I feel guilty myself. I am also like the selfish boy, and my father is like the giving tree. For my whole life, he is giving and giving me; he never expects anything from me. On the other hand, I never give him anything. I always demand my needs from him, and I express my sorrows to him. I never want to hear what his demand is, and never want to know if he has any sorrow or not. When I was a child, my father used to ride me on his back like a horse. As I’ve started to grow up, my needs are also increasing. I always want things from my father. I am so selfish that I never make a phone call to my father if I don’t have any need. When I need money to buy something, I give him missed calls. How selfish I am! I want money from my father to buy a gift for my friend, but I’ve never bought anything to give him on his birthday. I never go to see him when he suffers from fever, but he becomes anxious when I become ill. How selfish I am! I promised after reading The Giving Tree, I’ll take care of my parents when they will become older. I’ll never leave them when I will be self-dependent.

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We and Our Nature

We and Our Nature

Reading the poem “The Giving Tree” by Shel Silverstein coerced me to think about the nature. The tree in the poem symbolizes the nature in general and the boy stands for us humans. We humans have always been depending upon the nature for our necessities.

The poem with the depiction of four stages of a boy has shown the perspective of us humans of different age group towards the nature. Moreover, it shows the change in our attitude towards nature as we grow older. We, as a child, seem to enjoy ourselves in the nature. Our attitude towards nature changes with the signs of adolescence. Human needs and desires rise with adolescence. Youths are the one who begin exploiting the nature without caring about the future consequences. They aspire to reach the apex of materialistic world. This encourages them to fully utilize the natural resources around them. They are too busy maintaining their lifestyle that they hardly ever realize that whatever they attain is dependent upon the nature. Then we can see adults, who are growing old and still their quest to exploit the nature is the same. They still want nature to fulfill their needs. Then finally at the old age, we humans take refuge under the shade of nature, but then it’s too late because we have used up the nature so carelessly that nature can hardly provide us a seat to rest our life long tiredness of achieving success exploiting it.

In addition, we don’t care much about the consequences of our haphazard use of nature. We just want one thing, i.e. our success stepping on the nature. Even at this point of human civilization, we humans are failing to understand that nature can’t remain the same forever. If we fail to realize this fact even after seeing the omens of nature like the tsunami of 2004, flood in Pakistan and currently the earthquake followed by tsunami in Japan, then we are digging our own ditch. Of course, it is inevitable to stop the calamities of nature, but we need to understand the cause and the underlying force of our random devastation of the nature. At some point, our haphazard use of the nature is somewhere responsible for the nature to show its cruel face and warn us of its rage towards us careless humans.

So, let us join hand-in-hand to aware human kind about the rational use of our life-force, nature, and secure the future of our children and their children.

my thought about ‘The giving Tree’

‘The Giving Tree’ is a poem which is so simple to understand as you don’t have to use your critical thinking skill! Moreover, it has no inner meaning that you would struggle to realize it! Everything is in front you, clear like a mirror where you can see your own reflection. Really, the poem helps me to think about selfishness of human being once again. Now, I want to describe the poem from two different points of view.

First, the image come to our mind that the tree is symbolizing a parent, mother or father, and the boy is his or her child. After reading the poem we realize that how true the theme is. Every human being is like the boy. A newly born child fully depends on his parents. They raise him with great love and care. They are always ready to fulfill their child’s life until their death. They never think that they won’t be reciprocated by their child. On the other hand, the child thinks that it’s his right to get all facilities he needs from his parents. Gradually he grows up and forgets about the sacrifice of his parents. He has no time to contact with parents or hears their words. But whenever he feels any lack in his life, he will come to his parents to help him. The parents will give him everything they have to live for the sake of their child. They are never sad for an ungrateful child. Instead, they are happy that their boy again comes to them. They only wish happy life of their child. We think that it’s the nature of human life. But I don’t think so. It’s the first duty of a child to look after his parents when he is adult. Only then he can be able to enjoy his life. Otherwise, he will get the same treatment from his children.

Second, if we consider the tree as nature and the boy as a human being, we see the same greedy nature of human. For their betterment humans use the nature brutally. They don’t think that nature is like mother. If they destroy the nature, they will not have another place to survive. Though they never grateful or conscious about Mother Nature, they have to come back to her. As the nature is as great as a mother to human, she will give shelter them until she has the ability. So, we should be aware of the prevention of nature. Otherwise, we cannot be able to live long in earth.

The Giving Tree

Shel Silverstein in “The Giving Tree” clearly depicts how patient and kind the tree was and how happy she felt when she saw the boy ascending in his life, and her dedication and willingness to assist the boy in order to achieve his goals in his life.  However, on the other hand, Silverstein did not fail to depict the selfishness and narrow mindedness of humans.

When the boy was young, he was so lonely.  Then he visited the tree and enjoyed well.     When he wanted something for his survival, he took the benefit of all the parts of the tree: leaves, trunk, branches and fruit.  However, he did not think of reciprocating the tree in any way. When he was with the tree, both of them were happy; both of them loved each other.  Later, as time elapsed, his way to the tree slowly started to decline and he started seeing her only when he felt lonely or when he wanted something from her.  Whatever he asked the tree, no matter when it was, she was ever ready to assist him.  She did not deny at any circumstance.

Even though she had offered the boy all what she could possibly give him, having nothing left for herself, even after her trunk was cut and taken away by the same boy, she started to profusely regret that she could no longer support the boy.  She felt so sorry for that. However, the selfish boy did not even try to console her with at least a couple of words: that’s okay or don’t worry.  Instead, he said that he won’t need very much from her anymore!  Further he asked a quiet place to him to sit and take a rest. Anyway, that was all what the tree could possibly offer him to its best at this moment.

According to this, we can see how selfish and narrow minded humans are.  The boy did not think of watering the plants of the tree or planting another plant instead of destroying this tree.  He only thought about his personal life, his word affairs and his improvement in his life.

Let’s think this vice versa!  What would have happened if the nature takes the benefit of all humans: discarding our parts of the body from us one by one and finally leaving us with only the feet, like the boy dared to do to the tree?  Definitely it will be an ordeal and we all will raise our voices against violence.  Then, is it that occurred to the tree is due to lack of its verbal ability???

My Response to “The Giving Tree”

The poem “The Giving Tree” by Shel Silverstein tells us a moving story: A tree loved a boy, and she tried her best to make the boy happy by giving things throughout the boy’s life.

When I read the poem, I could not help comparing the tree as a mother, and the boy was her son. Then the poem became a story about the human beings. After a deep consideration, I’m going to paraphrase the story as following:

Once upon a time, there was a boy. When the boy was young, the happiest thing for him was to stay with his mother. He always wanted to hug her, play with her, and get food from her. When he felt tired, he slept in his mother’s arms. Obviously, the boy loved his mother very much at that time. However, after the boy grew up, he went to school. Then he started to have many friends. He spent all his spare time with his friends or computer games. Therefore, he seldom went home or had a talk with his mother. As long as he wanted money, otherwise, he didn’t want to stay with her a second. Then, the boy became an adult. He needed more things at that time, such as a house, a wife, and a successful career. He needed an investment, but he didn’t have enough money, then he turned to his family — his mother. After a few years, the boy realized that his siblings were intending to comminute his parents’ wealth after his mother was sent to hospital. The boy came to his mother’s sickbed and told her that he still had many things to do, and again, he needed her help. A decade later, the boy became very old. One day, he went to visit his mother. He spent a long time to climb a mountain to the place in where his mother was. He fell on his knees when he arrived, and asked her what he could do for her at that time, but his mother would not answer him anymore. The boy sat with his mother as he did when he was young, then a drop of tears fell into the earth…

It is the story what I heard from “The Giving Tree.” I don’t know what your feelings will be after you read it. The only one thing I want to point out is I hope this kind of tragedy won’t be acted by human beings anymore. No matter the giving tree or the boy, I’m sure both of them are not really happy during the process of giving and receiving, are they?

The Giving Tree

In the poem “The Giving Tree” by Shel Silverstein we can see a true relationship between the tree and the boy. We can clearly see how the friendship between the child and the tree led the tree to fall in love with the boy. The poem shows the message that we fall in love with those with whom we share memorable moments the most. The moments that the tree and the boy had shared by playing with each other made them close with each other. In addition, the poem also shows how time changes people’s attitude and behavior. When the child was in his childhood, he used to love the tree the most, but as he grew older, he began to live his own life. He didn’t play or sit with the tree anymore. When the boy was leading his happy life, he never reminisced about the tree, but when he needed money, he went to the tree and asked for help. The tree always had the same feelings for the boy and gave him its apples to sell in the market. Later, when the boy needed a house for his wife and his children, the tree asked him to take away its branches.Then, when the boy grew older and wanted a boat, the tree asked him to cut his trunk and make a boat. This shows how the boy changed from his childhood to his adulthood. His demands kept on increasing, but he never felt pity for the lonely tree. On the other hand, the tree gave all its property for the sake of the boy and never let the boy lose his expectation of it. However, the boy kept on demanding more as he was getting whatever he was asking for. The boy’s nature reflects people who want more in their lives. People are so selfish that they only see their own sorrow but never try to understand others. Furthermore, when the boy became old and came towards the tree, the tree asked him what he wanted and the old man then asked for a place to sit and rest. This shows how kind the tree was towards the boy. Even though it wasn’t getting anything in return from the boy, it never stopped helping him. Therefore, looking at the tree’s giving nature, we can clearly see that if we love someone, we shouldn’t expect the same from them, but we should try to help them as much as we can for their happy life.

My Response to “The Giving Tree”

“The Giving Tree” is a beautiful poem written by Shel Silverstein. I found the poem really awe-inspiring and motivating. To be candid, at first, I felt skeptical when I looked at the handout of the poem because it was too long. However, when I watched the video, it really touched my heart and I wished to watch it several times. I found the poem very depressing and sad. I felt pity for the tree, but at the same time I became contemptuous being a human. I thought that the self-centered behavior of the boy did not equate with the caring nature of the tree.

                Comparing the relationship between the tree and the boy with parents and children, parents are like “The Giving tree” who always try to fulfill their children’s needs and desires; while the children are like the boy who is carefree and demanding. From the poem, we can equate the indulgent behavior of the tree with that of our parents. They are always giving in and supporting us. They offer us selfless and pure service. Even if they are in pain and trouble; they are reluctant to disclose their feelings only to give us happiness. According to the poet, the tree never demands but always offers help to the boy. In any case, the tree tries to solve his problems. Similarly, our parents motivate us and try to help us in the ordeals of our lives. In the poem, the boy never seeks the tree to ask whether it is happy or sad rather visits the tree when he is in need. Similarly, children love to enjoy to their fullest. In the childhood, they are innocent and unconcerned about the outer world other than their parents or loved ones, but as they grow they tend to become indifferent about their parents.

                Furthermore, I would like to compare the poem with The Little Prince. We learned that when we tame someone or something, we should be responsible for it. However, in this poem, the boy fails to perform his responsibility. Since he had tamed the tree when he was a little boy, he fails to reciprocate his love as he grows old. Although the boy seems to be indifferent, the tree always performs her responsibility of caring and loving the boy till the end.

                Therefore, I would like to know what your views are about “The Giving Tree.”

My response on “The Giving Tree”

      “The Giving Tree” is a poem written by Shel Silverstein in which he describes about the youth and the old age. According to the poem, youth is when we have new desires, wants, and willingness to fulfill our desires no matter how. In contrast, old age is when we are tired and we want to take rest abandoning all the desires and wants. The tree symbolizes the giving character of the nature. The nature keeps on giving on what we want as much it has. Similarly, it also symbolizes the forever giving nature of our parents which children take for granted and misuse it.

     While reading the poem, I felt very sad for the tree that it got nothing in return. It was very happy when the boy was small and used to play with it. But, later on as the boy grew older, he no more wanted to play with the tree. He had new desires and wants, and he needed a source to fulfill it. So, he went to the tree to ask what he wanted and the tree also went on giving what it had. The boy’s desires prolonged and the tree gave everything whatever it had till the last. The boy didn’t even think about the tree and kept on yearning.  It is like our parents who keep on giving us what we want till the end and in return we forget to reciprocate them. Many young children leave their old parents after getting what they want. They do not even look behind and think of the sacrifices what their parents had made for them. It reminded me of my own behavior towards my family. When I was small, I used to be mad at my mother when she asked me to do household works and when she did not give me what I want. I was small and did not understand why she asked me to do those things and why she cannot give me what I wanted. But also, she tried to give me what I wished as much as she could like the tree in the poem.

     It is a heart-touching poem which reminded me my own mistakes what I had done in the past and also alerted me to think twice before being angry on people.

Digya Shrestha

“The Giving Tree” by Shel Silverstien- cycle of youth and old.

I think this poem flawlessly describes about youth and old age. Both youth and old have different expectations from each other but it never turns out the way they want. This poem reminds me of the devoted nature of our parents and families. They give us all from birth to adolescent and we take that for granted. We are always displeased with what is given to us. The boy from the poem gets it all; money, house, boat, and a place to rest when he becomes an old stump. What about the tree? What does the tree get? Nothing, the tree gets nothing. It is very depressing to see the tree being left out. It is like avoiding your poor, old, and helpless parents. At the beginning of the poem the boy was very happy, innocent and friendly. He craved his initials on the tree, he hugged the tree, climbed the tree, and ate apples from the tree. They both were very happy and their love was like a parents and children’s love. As the boy grows older, he changes, he is no more that special little innocent and friendly boy. He is a grown up with life of his own, but did he make a right move by ditching the tree?  Why would he do something like that?  He only comes to visit the tree when he needs something. Such selfish act! I personally am filled with profound regret because I too hurt my mom a lot. This poem reminds me of the way I behave with my mom. I get mad at her when she asks me to clean my room, or do my laundry, or asks me to finish my dinner. Such a silly reasons to get mad at mom, but the important thing is, we hurt them and we never realize that. Even though I am the one who is at fault, she would come and apologize. She struggled a lot during her childhood, and while raising us. After losing her husband, my dad, she was absolutely devastated, but she picked herself up just for me and my brother.  They will sacrifice everything for us, just like the tree from the poem. The tree sacrifices everything, her apples, her branches, and her trunk, self-sacrificing herself just to see the boy happy. In the end of the poem, the boy returns back, old and useless, he comes back to the tree and the tree welcomes him back like as if nothing happened. Where is that children of the boy? Where are those families of his? He ditched the tree for them but where are they when he needs them the most? The cycle continues.