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(474) The Giving Tree [読書感想]

 The Giving Tree

The Giving Tree

The Giving Tree

  • 作者: Shel Silverstein
  • 出版社/メーカー: HarperCollins
  • 発売日: 2003/04/15
  • メディア: ハードカバー






The Giving Tree is a children's picture book written and illustrated by Shel Silverstein. First published in 1964, and still now many children read it in many countries. The Japanese translated name of this book is “Okina ki” meaning “a big tree”.
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I’d like to talk about the moral of the story. My main concern is whether the relationship between the main characters (a boy and a tree) should be interpreted as positive (i.e., the tree gives the boy selfless love) or as negative (i.e., the boy and the tree have an abusive relationship). First I thought the tree seems ideal mothers, and this story is a happy and positive one. But after reading it several times I got to think the boy was just a selfish without thinking of the tree. I think, the
moral of this story is that we must try to listen to the silent voices of trees and other things which don’t speak. And then, make sure that we are not selfish to them.

Let me tell the story briefly.
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Once there was a tree. She loves a little boy. The boy would visit, climb, and eat it’s apples. As the boy got older and busier, the tree often felt alone.

One day the boy came to the tree and he said, 
“I am too big to climb and play.”
“I want to buy things and have fun. I want to some money.”

He took all her apples and sold them in the city and had money.
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   Next when he visited the tree, he said he wanted to have a wife and children, so he needed a house. Then he cut off all her branches carried them away to build his house.
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  And when he came back to the tree the boy became too old and sad to play with the tree. He wanted a boat to take him far away from there. So he cut down her trunk to make a boat and sailed away.
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  And after a long time he came back to the tree. He got too old and weak. The tree then became just an old stump. Boy sat down on the stump and rested. He was happy.
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  The author of this book imagined how the tree thought, felt, and communicated with the boy. In this book the tree always felt happy every time boy took things away from her. Her love is so selfless that many readers burst into tears at the end of the book. It is one of ideal love similar to mother’s love. But the reality is that the tree doesn’t speak anything and cannot reject the boy’s requests. If we thought the tree was very sad and angry against boy’s deeds. This story suddenly became a very sad story of the tree bullied by the selfish boy.

This book gives us a chance to think whether or not we are treating living things around us properly. It also teaches we must behave nicely.
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