Alex Cateforis

Mentors: Giselle Anatol, Professor, English; Liz MacGonagle, Associate Professor, History

Taking and Giving in Picture Books: An Intercultural Approach to Empathy with Trees

Humans, specifically Americans and those belonging to Western cultures, must take a new, empathetic, and intercultural approach to learning about and living with trees. This approach begins with teaching and socializing children. Using two picture books: Shel Silverstein’s The Giving Tree and Julie Stiegemeyer’s and E.B. Lewis’s Under the Baobab Tree, this research discusses two views of nature. The Giving Tree communicates a commodified and segregated relationship between human and nature, while Under the Baobab Tree transmit a more harmonic and unified relationship between human and nature. Combining these two approaches, one reaches a middle ground,a sustainable, empathetic, and intercultural model for the use and preservation of trees.

Major: English
Study Abroad: Senegal


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