[[quoteright:350:http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/givingtree_8128.JPG]]
[[caption-width-right:350:[[ViciousCycle Don't do it]], Giving Tree! ]]

->''"Once there was a tree... and she loved a little boy."''

A selfless tree falls in love with a boy and sacrifices everything she has to make the boy happy.

One of Creator/ShelSilverstein's best known works from an anthology of stories from a book of the same name. It is widely believed to be a [[{{applicability}} metaphor]] for human, and especially parent-child, relationships.

Because of the story's simple plot and language, it's often a child's first introduction to metaphor and allegory.

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!! This book provides examples of:

* AllTakeAndNoGive: The tree receives no compensation beyond the joy of making the boy happy.
* AnAxeToGrind: The boy, once he grows old enough to need the wood.
* HappinessInSlavery: The tree does not feel sad for being used by the boy. She gives of herself freely to see the boy comfortably through his life.
* HeroicSacrifice: The Giving Tree, sacrificing more and more parts of her body until she's nothing more than a stump, but even as a stump she can still provide for the boy and be happy.
* IWantMyBelovedToBeHappy: The Giving Tree's sole desire is to make the Boy happy.
* LoveMakesYouCrazy: The Tree's unconditional love makes her sacrifice almost everything about herself to provide for the Boy. It's beautiful and a little sad at the same time.
* NoNameGiven: The tree is never named, nor is the boy. [[TheEveryman This has a purpose]].
* ParentalSubstitute: The Tree is often perceived to be a metaphor for the Boy's parents, dedicating their lives to providing for the generation that will replace them.
* RuleOfSymbolism: Things like the tree being able to talk as well as being alive even after being cut down are easy to HandWave if you take this story as an allegory.
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