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“The Man Who Planted Trees” by Jean Giono

The story “The Man Who Planted Trees” was written by the French writer Jean Giono in 1953. It tells the story of an old man who spent thirty years of his life planting trees in a valley in France, transforming the once barren land into a blooming garden. The story explores the role of an individual in the protection of the environment and proclaims the greatness of human spirit devoid of all egoism.

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The narrator is a young man who travels across France and finds himself in a desolated valley abandoned by people and devoid of water and vegetation. He meets a 50-year-old shepherd who lives there in isolation and spends his time planting acorns in the valley. Over the next thirty years, the narrator returns there several times, finding that the young trees have grown into a forest, people have returned to the valley, and the whole countryside glows “with health and prosperity” (Giono, 2002, p. 11). The transformation has occurred due to the efforts of the old man, who continued his work up until his death.

The story explores the role of an individual in the restoration of the environment. On the example of the shepherd, the author shows that a single man or woman can complete a work “worthy of God” if they have enough determination and generosity (Giono, 2002, p. 12). During the First and Second World Wars, the old man continued to plant trees despite the hardships, creating a beautiful place that would be inhabited for many generations to come. The author contrasts the war that causes only destruction to the old shepherd’s peaceful life devoted to creation. It encourages the readers to think that if solitary efforts of one man can bring such a transformation, much greater changes can be made by the actions of many individuals. The restoration of the environment destroyed by the humanity is in people’s own hands and requires only willingness and generosity of spirit.

Reference

Giono, J. (2002). The man who planted trees. Web.

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StudyCorgi. "“The Man Who Planted Trees” by Jean Giono." October 14, 2022. https://studycorgi.com/the-man-who-planted-trees-by-jean-giono/.

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StudyCorgi. 2022. "“The Man Who Planted Trees” by Jean Giono." October 14, 2022. https://studycorgi.com/the-man-who-planted-trees-by-jean-giono/.

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StudyCorgi. (2022) '“The Man Who Planted Trees” by Jean Giono'. 14 October.

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