An Alternative Ending to “The Giving Tree”

Dr. Corinne Masur

The Giving Tree, by Shel Silverstein is a beloved favorite in some families and a book to be avoided in others. The tree gives its apples, its branches and eventually its trunk to the boy who has grown up “loving” the tree. For some people the tree provides an example of selfless love.  For others, the tree models love which knows no boundaries and ends up destroying itself in an effort to give the boy all he wants.


If you or anyone you know fall into the second category, a playwright has written an alternative ending to The Giving Tree just for you!  While possibly not as poetic as the original and perhaps needing some rewording for young children, it does provide a model of what it means to love while also setting self preserving boundaries:
https://www.topherpayne.com/giving-tree

One thought on “An Alternative Ending to “The Giving Tree”

  1. Since I wrote this post several people have told me that they read The Giving Tree as a cautionary tale. I had never seen it that way – but I wonder if Shel Silverstein intended it as such?

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