UNIT - 1.1 THE SELFISH GIANT
🔆 About The Author
Oscar Wilde (1854-1900) was an Irish wit, poet, novelist, and playwright. Wilde was born of professional and literary parents. His father, Sir William Wilde, was an ear and eye surgeon, who also published books. His mother was a revolutionary poet and an authority on Celtic myth and folklore. He published a book of poems, lectured in the United States and Canada on the new "English Renaissance in Art" and interior decoration, and then returned to London where he worked prolifically as a journalist.
Known for his biting wit, Wilde became one of the best-known personalities of his day. He is best known for his only novel, The Picture of Dorian Gray (1891), and his comic masterpieces Lady Windermere's Fan (1892) and The Importance of Being Earnest (1895). He was a spokesperson for the late 19th-century Aesthetic movement in England, which advocated art for art's sake.
'The Selfish Giant' is a short story for children written by Oscar Wilde. It was first published in the anthology The Happy Prince and Other Tales in 1888. This story s about a giant who learned an important lesson about love and sharing, and holds ifferent meanings for people of different age.
🔆 The Selfish Giant Summary
Oscar Wilde (1854-1900) wrote the story "The Selfish Giant. He was an Irish wit, poet, novelist, and playwright. It is a short story for children. This story is about a giant who learned an important lesson about love and sharing in his life. The story begins with the children playing in the Giant's garden every afternoon after arriving from school. The garden was beautiful, large, with soft grass and fruit trees. The trees bore rich fruit and the birds sang sweetly sitting on them.
One day after seven years, the giant returned. He was staying with his friend, the Cornish Ogre. The children were afraid to see him. He saw the children playing and said that he would not allow anyone to play here as it was his own garden. He built a wall around it and also put up a bulletin board. The bulletin board displayed a warning: Intruders will be prosecuted." The children were sad because they had no other place to play. They would wander the high garden walls and remember the beautiful garden within them.
Spring season arrived and there were flowers and little birds everywhere. But it was winter in the giant's garden and there were frost and snow. In the absence of children, the birds did not sing either. Once a flower sprouted from the grass, but after seeing the bulletin board, he also fell asleep again. Then, there came the north wind and the hail storm. Due to the giant's selfishness, the golden fruits of autumn also did not reach in his garden.
Then one morning the giant detected sweet and wonderful music. It was a squirrel singing outside his window. The hail and north wind stopped and he could feel spring. He saw the children entering his garden through a small hole. The children were sitting on the tree branches and the trees were blooming. He also saw the birds fly and heard them chirp. The flowers had also risen. But, to his surprise, winter was still in one comer. He saw that a boy was standing there and he could not reach the branches of the trees. The tree lowered its branches but still, it couldn't climb.
In this scene, his heart melted. He realized that he was actually very selfish. He decided to put that boy on the top of the tree, tear down the walls, and allow the children to play here forever. But when the children saw it, they fled and the garden was winter again. However, that child did not run while crying. The giant put it on the top of the tree and the tree immediately blossomed. He kissed the giant. The other children came back to realize that the giant is not evil. Spring returned with them. The giant used to play with the children every afternoon, but that child was nowhere to be found. Over the years. it became very weak. One winter morning, he saw a beautiful tree with white flowers in the corner. The branches of the tree were golden and the boy stood underneath.
The boy was injured, which greatly enraged the giant. He told the boy that he would kill the man who had hurt him. The boy told him that these were the wounds of love. The boy smiled and asked the giant to come to his garden. Later, the children found the dead giant under the tree covered in white flowers.