The story takes place in a forest, near a residential area. The only two characters in the story are the tree and the boy. The tree is seen as a kind and generous figure who gives everything she can to make the boy happy. The boy on the other hand is seen as a needy and greedy character who believes he needs material things to make himself happy.
The Giving Tree Setting
The story follows a tree and a little boy who form a very close relationship. They love each other very much and the tree would do anything to make the boy happy. As the boy grows older he does not visit the tree as much and she becomes lonely. When he does come back he asks her for things and she takes pieces of herself to help him. By the end she is nothing more than a stump but she is finally able to get what she really wants, which is for the boy to spend time with her.
The Giving Tree Plot
The main theme expressed throughout the story is selflessness vs selfishness. Throughout the story the boy asks for everything he could ever want and does not stop to think about the consequences. The tree on the other hand give the boy everything he asks for even though the only things she can give him is parts of herself. She does this to make the boy happy even though he does seem to be able to gain true happiness until the very end of the story.