Wednesday, June 16, 2010

The Dysfunctional-Relationship Tree

I cannot express how much I dislike "The Giving Tree".

Everyone's familiar with this one, right? The one with the kid who keeps coming back to the tree that loves him, demanding more and more from it as he grows older until by the end of the book, he's reduced it to a pathetic stump of dead wood...but it's just fine as far as the tree is concerned, because that means it can give him a nice place to sit.

I love Shel Silverstein, but man...dude had issues. I mean, we're talking "my wife was secretly sleeping with my brother while embezzling from my company funds and framing me for possession of kiddie porn" issues with relationships, judging by that story. It views love as nothing more than an endless, voracious cycle of selfishness, where one party is capricious and oblivious to the depths of the sacrifices made by the other, while the other is a doormat for abuse.

If "The Giving Tree" were reflective of real love, there would be a forest at the end of that story. Because that's what real love does. It makes you bloom.

5 comments:

E. Wilson said...

I always thought it was reflective of a parent-child relationship, not as a romantic one. Then again, I haven't read it in fifteen years...

Tibi said...

werd.

Grazzt said...

You might like "The Unforgiving Tree" (from Perry Bible Fellowship).

http://img197.imageshack.us/i/1626983855bc92d41382o.gif/

Cal's Canadian Cave of Coolness said...

OMG you are so right. I can't stand that fricken' dumb ass tree. I wish everytime that someone would give him a noose to hang that kid that takes advantage of him. I hate the message. I hate how the whole story creeps me out.

In school they had religion classes once a week. I scammed going to the Protestant (because I was Catholic) one - in the gym with the hip young priest who showed 'Peanuts' slides with popular music and gave us fruit cups. That is the reason I told my mother. But the real reason is that by age 7 I could not stand to see that freakin' Giving Tree film ONE MORE TIME!

Anonymous said...

I agree, relationships like that are fucked up.