Ahhh… another review about the book The Giving Tree by Shel Silverstein.
The author of this article mentions, among other things, the fascination of orphan-hood to children who aren’t orphans.
As adoptees, we don’t know our conception and birth truths. We grow up not knowing.
For me, I hated stories and movies of orphans because I grew up knowing that my mother died and that’s how I became adopted by two people who became my parents. The horrible truth actually happened to me. Other kids could hide in their fantasies, relieved that they aren’t orphans after all. But not me.
I never read The Giving Tree until recently. I do not like this book. I look at it from an adult’s perspective. And from an educated adoptee’s perspective.
I see the anguish on the old man’s (the boy) face as he sits down on the tree’s stump. Is he realizing his or the tree’s life as a wasted life? Is he saying, “ What did I do?”
A tree (mother) who gave everything. An unselfish mother or a mother who lacks confidence to say no?
Would a male tree do the same? Would a little girl growing up do the same?
As adoptees, what does this say about our adoptions?
As adoptees, do we see this book differently?
What do mothers of children lost to adoption think of The Giving Tree?
In reading the Comments Section, one stood out:
“I rather thought the point of the story was that we sometimes don’t realize how much the people in our lives love us and appreciate them as we should- but the ones who truly love us continue to love us anyway. i thought it was to teach a child appreciation and awareness.”
To which, I replied:
“Yours is the only response that redeems this book to me. Thank you.”
In retrospect, yes, I suppose The Giving Tree does teach a child appreciation and awareness. That is what my daughter said she felt about this book when she was a child. She read it at summer camp.