Reduced to a Stump: Allegorizing The Giving Tree to the 2008 Financial Collapse


  • Derek Vaughn Florida Atlantic University Digital Library
  • Athena Murray


Unethical financial practice resulting from corporate greed led to the unemployment of 30 million
workers and the worst global financial crisis since The Great Depression. Ironically, the
theme of personal gain at the expense of others is a cautionary lesson commonly taught to children
in bedtime stories that are reinforced throughout one’s lifetime. One early introduction
to this theme is seen in the influential and award winning children’s book, The Giving Tree. This
essay is a rhetorical criticism which will evaluate the ideology behind The Giving Tree in order to
allegorize it to draw connections and criticize the behavior that led to the 2008 financial collapse.