The Giving Tree By Shel Silverstein

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In “The Giving Tree” by Shel Silverstein, one is able to take a Marxist approach by making the contentious argument that economic and ideological circumstances are present throughout the story. Marxism challenges class relations through documenting the prevalence of power struggle within society. “The Giving Tree” includes characteristics that are thus deemed problematic by those who approach literature with a Marxist critical ‘lens’. In this short story, the idea that happiness is formed through the capacity to give is clearly evident. That is, socioeconomic forces interrelate to consumers’ unyielding desire to always demand for more. In addition, through gaining authority, the boy is able to control the tree which thus correlates to society’s…show more content…
Throughout the short story, the tree is determined to adhere to the boy’s requests. “The tree [is] happy” (Silverstein, 19) when she is able to fulfill his yearnings. This thus entails the communal concern with respect to attending to the needs of consumers. For example, companies fulfill one’s desires through manufacturing goods and providing services, while parents attend to their child’s happiness by becoming consumers. As opposed to solely focusing on providing the boy with necessities, the tree follows societal ‘norms’, which is acting in accordance with an end user’s requests. In addition, one’s financial status will determine what affairs an individual is able to partake in. The boy clearly states that he wants “a wife and…children, and so…[he needs] a house” (Silverstein, 21). In order to have a family, the boy wants to ensure that he can provide them with the necessities. This effectively reveals that one’s social ranking indicates whether or not one is able to efficaciously raise a family. Overall, the emphasis on the role of class is present, which corresponds to the drive individuals have to acquire

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