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Presenting the Giving Tree Kid’s Hierarchy of Needs.

Jessie Gaynor

October 7, 2021, 12:30pm

On this day in 1964, Shel Silverstein’s The Giving Tree was published. As children’s classics go, this one is divisive: it is about noble self-sacrifice? Generosity turned to martyrdom, run amuck? Millennial parent burnout??? Silverstein himself said of the book, “It’s about a boy and a tree. It has a pretty sad ending.”

In honor of its publication anniversary, I will not be writing a hot take, but will instead offer an analysis based on Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs, in an attempt to answer the eternal American question: Why does everyone want boats so badly?


Now, you are fulfilled.

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