Literary Quote of the Month

“For poems are not, as people think, simply emotions (one has emotions early enough)—they are experiences,” … Rilke, The Notebooks of Malte Laurids Brigge.

Friday, September 27, 2013

Banned Books Week and The Giving Tree by Shel Silverstein...

"Once there was a tree... and she loved a little boy. And every day the boy would come... and he woud gather her leaves... and make them into crowns and play king of the forest." Thus begins The Giving Tree by Shel Silverstein. The tender story of the power of love, the gift of giving and the consequences of selfishness. I remember reading this book as an adult and crying at the end. As the boy grows up, his demands become harder and harder for the tree to provide, until she gives the ultimate gift of her life.

The Giving Tree was initially challenged and removed from a library because the librarian thought it was sexist. I also read where the story had been interpreted as Sadomasochism, where the boy keeps demanding more and the tree keeps giving. Subsequently there has been a lot of chatter about the meaning behind the story, and it was banned due to others having said it undermines parental, school, and religious authority. I also read where someone thought it undermined the logging industry. Really?!

Have you read the book? The simple illustrations are wonderful, and the text is simple, yet powerful. I think it teaches a lesson to all of us. What do you think?

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