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Can you name the things the tree gives to the boy and their purpose ('The Giving Tree' by Shel Silverstein)?
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The Giving Tree
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'The Giving Tree' Things Quiz
Created Jan 31, 2010 in
Featured Oct 18, 2010
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Feb 19th, 2010 at 21:36 GMT
Game published: Oct 18th, 2010 at 16:04 GMT
Oct 18th, 2010 at 16:43 GMT
"...and the tree was happy. Shel Silverstein was a communist." - John Francis "Jack" Donaghy (from 30 Rock, in case people get the wrong idea)
Oct 18th, 2010 at 17:13 GMT
Such a sad story. That boy was such good friends with that tree for years, but as he aged the tree didn't. The tree kept hoping they'd re-live the happy days...but instead the boy cut him down, chopped him up and used him for other things. Poor tree.
Oct 18th, 2010 at 18:08 GMT
too much time. Took less than half a minute, and I stumbled on what he did with the first one
Oct 18th, 2010 at 20:17 GMT
I hate this book- too damn depressing.
Oct 18th, 2010 at 20:43 GMT
Worst children's book ever. Love equals destroying yourself entirely piece by piece so some ungrateful brat can eventually sit on you, which makes you happy? I always wanted the tree to hit that kid on the head with an apple then walk away like an Ent. Also, a "place to sit" really should work for the last one.
Oct 18th, 2010 at 20:59 GMT
It's called "The GIVING Tree." The tree loved the little boy. I guess the concept of giving of yourself is no longer understood.
Oct 18th, 2010 at 21:24 GMT
Yeah, I've never understood the people who think it's a bad story because the boy was an "ungrateful brat." OF COURSE he was, but the whole point is that the boy realizes this in the end and comes back to share what little he has left. The book's message is the opposite of what some people seem to think it is. It's bleak, but beautiful. Maybe the ones who want the tree to tell the boy to stuff it would be happier reading someone like Ayn Rand...?
Oct 18th, 2010 at 23:36 GMT
NPHandler!!!! Hilarious episode. I hope they show the new tapes for his daughter.
Oct 18th, 2010 at 23:44 GMT
Severian: The boy doesn't come back to share anything. What version did you read? "And after years the boy came back, both of them were old. 'I really cannot help you if you ask for another gift.' 'I’m nothing but an old stump now. I’m sorry but I’ve nothing more to give.' 'I do not need very much now, just a quiet place to rest,' The boy, he whispered, with a weary smile."
Oct 18th, 2010 at 23:55 GMT
@ezois and @severian I get the concept of giving. However, there's a difference between healthy giving in a relationship and literally stripping so much of a person's physical and emotional resources that the person ceases to exist and is, in fact, dead. The tree actually committs suicide. And no, the kid/teenager/adult/old man never does state that he was wrong or show any remorse, letalone try to make amends. All he does is come back and plant his rear on the tree's corpse. It's an abusive relationship written at kiddie level.
Oct 19th, 2010 at 00:43 GMT
The tree is an enabler!
Oct 19th, 2010 at 00:59 GMT
I did not think I would finish it that quickly, that just shows how great of a book that is.
Oct 19th, 2010 at 01:06 GMT
By the way - my 7-year-old is currently into the "Diary of a Wimpy Kid" series, and as we were reading the other day came across a hilarious sequence about the big huge photo of Shel Silverstein that always appeared on the back of his books: "But Shel Silverstein looks more like a burglar or a pirate than a guy who should be writing books for kids. Dad must have known that picture kind of freaked me out, because one night after I got out of bed, Dad said – If you get out of bed again tonight you’ll probably run into Shel Silverstein in the hallway." Now, I love most of Silverstein's stuff, but it's true - that big closeup photo of his bald head and scruffy beard used to freak me out a little too!
Oct 19th, 2010 at 02:35 GMT
If you wanna see my take on the story youtube "Sassy Gay Friend and the Giving Tree"..."What what what are you doing??"
Oct 19th, 2010 at 02:54 GMT
One thing, could you accept "to make [a boat]" for "to build [a boat]"?
Oct 19th, 2010 at 03:03 GMT
i typed in build a house and build a boat and it didnt accept it
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Oct 19th, 2010 at 04:19 GMT
How is this a literature quiz? Aren't these just things trees are used for?
Oct 19th, 2010 at 20:17 GMT
There's a parody out now called "The Taking Tree." :)
Oct 19th, 2010 at 23:56 GMT
okay is everyone forgetting that this is a tree right? I can't think of anything that the boy could give that could make the tree any happier. The tree doesn't need anything in return, he just enjoys the presence of the boy.
Oct 20th, 2010 at 04:52 GMT
That book makes me cry every time
Oct 21st, 2010 at 19:19 GMT
Luckily, I have a copy of said book on the shelf.
Oct 23rd, 2010 at 02:59 GMT
I keep on trying to find another meaning to this book everytime I read it to my daughter because I can't believe that Shel Silverstein would right a book about a tree that sacrifices itself utterly for an ungrateful punk. Perhaps it's about not from the tree's perspective, but the boy's perspective, and how ungrateful he is. Maybe it's a memoir of sorts. Anyone know if Shel Silverstein was a selfish jackass when he was younger?
Oct 25th, 2010 at 03:28 GMT
The boy's requests are much like a person's prayer requests, from youth to sunset years, and the relationship between the boy and giving tree is much like some people's relationship with a giving God. One of Gandhi's "Seven Blunders of the World" [by EggHeadNurse] is "worship without sacrifice". "The tree was happy" to give. To be happy, give. --- Please accept "rest".
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Oct 25th, 2010 at 12:45 GMT
My husband asked God, during the silent prayer at church, "Of all my works of charity, which do you like most?" God answered, "That's easy. Jesus gave his blood, you give yours." [1-800-RED-CROSS/733-2767] God's answer surprised him. For his birthday, he works in the mail room for the Jerry Lewis Telethon. He's walked miles for the CROP walk for hunger. Right now, he has been away on vacation. On Sat Oct 23, he walked in Richmond, VA's "Walk to Defeat ALS...because you can". His sister, who has ALS, did the walk in a wheelchair. Soon, he'll be standing in the cold for hours of ringing the bell for Salvation Army. While giving blood, God's surprising favorite, he lays at rest and eats cookies, warm and cozy. My husband laughs all day and makes me laugh every day. At the grounded root of his happiness is giving sacrificially.
Oct 25th, 2010 at 12:58 GMT
@brett: Did the boy say, "Thank you"? The boy could give the tree a word of gratitude.
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Oct 25th, 2010 at 15:52 GMT
I like Meltha's "ungrateful brat" and omnipotent1's "selfish jackass". Lord, forgive me, an "ungrateful brat". Lord, have mercy on me, a "selfish jackass". Thank you that we are sharing in your happiness as we are tithing 10%, welcoming a homeless youth into our home, teaching Sunday School and singing in the choir, and looking forward to resting in peace with you. [Church as "boat" from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Noah, "The Ark came to be equated with the Church: salvation was to be found only within Christ..., as in Noah's time it had been found only within the Ark."]
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Oct 26th, 2010 at 13:44 GMT
He himself bore our sins in his body on the tree so that we might die to sins and live for righteousness; by his wounds you have been healed. 1 Peter:2:24
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Oct 30th, 2010 at 11:51 GMT
@Sporcel: You gave me "0 points" for: say, "Thank you". Children and adults of all walks of life want to hear "the boy" say, "Thank you". Given that Shel Silverstein wrote for "Playboy", he was likely thinking about politicians & pastors who treat their playmates with more disdain than kindness&respect. So I can accept penalty points for turning "The Giving Tree" into a parable with a call to prayer. Yet, if the "giving tree" can love "the boy" and be happy, it can appreciate hearing, "Thank you". Comments about the boy's lack of gratitude include: "As Ben Jackson, a professor of Religious Studies at Stanford University put it: 'Is this a sad tale? Well, it is sad in the same way that life is depressing. We are all needy, and, if we are lucky and any good, we grow old using others and getting used up. Tears fall in our lives like leaves from a tree. Our finitude is not something to be regretted or despised, however; it is what makes giving (and receiving) possible. The more you blame the boy, the more you have to fault human existence. The more you blame the tree, the more you have to fault the very idea of parenting. Should the tree's giving be contingent on the boy's gratitude? If it were, if fathers and mothers waited on reciprocity before caring for their young, then we would all be doomed'"(http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Giving_Tree). Generically, "the boy" could use a lift for his gratitude quotient. Therefore, would you please increase the score for my response "@brett" to "1 point"?
Nov 19th, 2010 at 22:14 GMT
i liked it and i got 100% on this quiz! hhaa
Nov 27th, 2010 at 02:25 GMT
Some people have too much time on their hands (I'm looking at you, bubba). 6 separate comments on 3 separate days all at different times? Get a job, churchy.
Dec 4th, 2010 at 03:17 GMT
@TriviaTyme: I have a job with no access to a computer at work. Plus, like my husband, "giving" in many places besides church brings me joy--caring for my home & garden, bagging food at the co-op, attending performances by students, reaching out to those with a variety of challenges and daily visiting the elderly, to name a few.
Dec 24th, 2010 at 00:51 GMT
The joy of Christmas is giving gifts to those we love.
Jan 26th, 2011 at 18:13 GMT
It's about giving for someone else's sake. Those of you who only give to get something in return just don't get it!
Jan 26th, 2011 at 18:15 GMT
@buba: Sporcle doesn't assign points for your comments. Other users increase or decrease a comment's points by clicking on the arrows.
Feb 6th, 2011 at 13:02 GMT
@TAR2: pleased to know it is users and not Sporcle; i will begin using the arrows on comments myself
Mar 23rd, 2011 at 00:44 GMT
didn't the boy also use the truck of the tree to inscribe a heart of some sort?
Mar 30th, 2011 at 00:59 GMT
Jun 22nd, 2011 at 23:28 GMT
@TrumpetPlayer: "The boy" did use the trunk of the tree to inscribe first one heart, then a second heart. Early in the book, the small "boy" inscribed "M.E.&T." (me and tree) low on the tree's trunk. Across from a page with the text "And the boy grew older," the illustration of the tree shows the legs of a male in pants and a female in a skirt and, higher on the tree, the taller "boy" had inscribed a second heart with the letters "M.E.&Y.L." (me and young love). Later, when the trunk was severed, the adult "boy" carried away the second heart, and the first heart remained with the stump. In the illustration of the tired, old "boy" resting on the tree's stump, the reader can see that only the heart that had been inscribed "M.E.&T." by the small "boy" has endured to the end.
Feb 9th, 2012 at 17:19 GMT
I loved this book as a kid and have a Shel Silverstein inspired tattoo in the works. However this book? Rereading it years later, it reads like an abusive relationship. The boy keeps taking and breaking the tree down until nothing is left and the tree just keeps letting itself be walked on. It's a great message for kids who don't read deeping into things. "Giving is good." I just enjoyed how much the message changed as I grew up!
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