The Selfish Giant Class 11: Summary | Exercise (Questions and Answers) | Oscar Wilde | NEB

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The Selfish Giant Class 11: Summary | Exercise (Questions and Answers) | Oscar Wilde | NEB
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The Selfish Giant Class 11: Summary | Exercise (Questions and Answers) | Oscar Wilde | NEB


The Selfish Giant by Oscar Wilde 



MAIN INTRODUCTION

The Selfish Giant by Oscar Wilde 

This short children's story "The Selfish Giant" was written by Oscar Wilde, a writer from Ireland. It was first published in the anthology "The Happy Prince and Other Tales" in 1888. This story is about a giant who has learned an important lesson about love and sharing. The main themes of this story are selflessness, love and care, arrogance, love and compassion etc.



Table of Contents


AUTHOR

Write about the writer of "The Selfish Giant".

The Selfish Giant by Oscar Wilde

Name: Oscar Wilde

Date of Birth: 1854 October 16

Creations: Poems, Plays, Novels and Short 
Stories

Birth Place: Westland Row, Dublin, Ireland

Death: 1900 November 30, Paris, France


ABOUT STORY

What is this story "The Selfish Giant" about.

The Selfish Giant by Oscar Wilde

"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 is about a giant who has learned an important lesson about love and sharing. This story holds different meanings for people of different ages.


MAIN THEME

What are the main themes in the story "The Selfish Giant"?

The Selfish Giant by Oscar Wilde

We find the following five themes in the story:

1. Arrogance

2. Isolation  

3. Love and compassion

4. Forgiveness 

5. Consequences of Selfishness


MORAL

What moral lessons do you find in the story "The Selfish Giant"?

The Selfish Giant by Oscar Wilde

We find the following moral lessons in the story:

▪︎  If we give happiness to others, we can also feel happiness in our lives.

▪︎  There are always good results from kindness. We shouldn't be selfish towards others.

▪︎  Loving others is the great satisfaction of life.

▪︎  Children should be loved.

▪︎  We shouldn't be bad and show our ill-will to others.

▪︎  Bad deeds are always punished whereas good deeds are always rewarded.


CHARACTERS

Write about the characters in the story "The Selfish Giant".

The Selfish Giant by Oscar Wilde

The Giant:

The giant is the major character of this story. He has a fine palace and garden. He is quite selfish by his nature. He prohibits all the schoolchildren from playing in his garden. He built a high wall and put up a warning board against all the innocent children. Due to his selfish and rude behaviour towards children, the spring season forgets to appear in his garden. The winter season and its forces only appear in his garden. One day, he realises his mistake, seeing a wonderful sight as well as a lovely child. He breaks his wall and allows all the children to play in his garden. He searches for the lovable boy but is unable to find him. When he meets the lovable child at last, he is welcomed by the child to his lovely garden of paradise. The giant dies in the same afternoon.


The Children:

The children in the story are so lovable and innocent. They are school students. They play in the giant's garden every afternoon after their school. They are chased by the giant. They become quite unhappy because they don't find a proper place for them to play. Later, they wandered outside the wall being upset. But later, the giant allows them to play in his garden. They happily play in the garden along with the giant. They seem quite happy to play in the garden. Along with their arrival, the spring season also appears in the giant's garden.


Little Child:

The little child is the loveliest kid in the giant's garden. He is helped by the giant in the farthest corner of the garden at the time when he is unable to climb the tree. He becomes quite happy after the giant's help. He hugs and kisses the giant. He disappears for a long time after his first meeting with the giant. He reappears in the garden in the old and feeble condition of the giant. The little child invites the old giant to his garden of paradise at last. He is compared to the almighty Lord Jesus Christ in the story.


Personified Characters: Spring, Summer, Autumn

All these characters are personified in the story. They show their acts just against the giant's rude behaviour towards the children. They play vital roles in making the giant's garden look ugly all year round.


Forces of Winter: North Wind, Hail, Frost, Snow

These are the forces of the winter season. These forces are also personified in the story. After the rude behaviour of the giant, they play their roles against the giant and his garden. They decide to live in the giant's garden all year round when they realise the absence of the spring season in the giant's garden.

The snow covered up all the grass in the giant's garden with her great white cloak. The frost painted all the trees silver. They invited the North Wind, who was wrapped in fur, and roared all day in the garden and blew the chimney pots down. The hail also arrived at their invitation. Hail rattled the giant's roof every day for three hours and broke most of the slates. He took his fast round in the garden, dressing grey with icy breath.


MAIN SUMMARY

What is the summary of the story "The Selfish Giant"?

The Selfish Giant by Oscar Wilde

Once upon a time, there was a tall, massive and ugly giant who was really very selfish by nature. He had a beautiful garden in his castle. There were beautiful flowering plants, soft grass and twelve peach trees in his garden. In the spring, peach trees used to bear beautiful pink and pearl flowers, and in the autumn, they used to bear rich fruits. The birds used to sit in the trees and sing very sweetly.

Every afternoon, many children used to play in that giant's garden when they came back from school.

Seven years ago, the giant had gone to visit a friend named Cornish Ogre. One day, he came back to his castle. He found children playing in his garden. He became quite furious to see that sight. He cried, "What are you doing there?" The children ran away out of fear. The children became quite sad because they didn't have a proper place to play. They didn't like to play on the road due to the dust and hard stones. The Giant built a high wall around his garden and put up a notice board on which he wrote a warning line:

"TRESPASSERS WILL BE PROSECUTED"

When the season of spring came, there were little blossoms and birds all over the country. But the garden of the selfish giant became completely desolate. Snow, frost, the north wind and hail came there one by one. The Giant became quite sad because everywhere summer, spring, and autumn came, but in his garden, there was always winter. One morning, the giant heard very lovely and sweet music. It was a little linnet singing outside his window. A delicious perfume came to him through the open casement. He thought that spring had come. He peeped out but saw a wonderful sight. The children had come into the garden through a little hole in the wall. They were sitting on every branch of the tree. The trees were in full bloom. The birds were twittering and singing melodiously. In the farthest corner of the garden, there was a very little boy who couldn't reach the branches. Seeing that sight, the giant's heart melted. He said to himself, "How selfish I have been! Now I have understood why spring didn't come in my  garden." The giant took the little boy and seated him in the tree. The little boy kissed the giant, feeling happy. The giant said to the children, "It is your garden now, little children!" Thus, there was another spring throughout the year.

After many years, the giant became quite old and weak. He kept on watching the children at their games. He didn't meet the lovable little boy after his first meeting. He inquired about him a lot but couldn't get any information about him.

One morning, during wintertime, he saw a marvellous sight of a tree in the farthest corner of the garden. He saw white flowers, golden branches, and silver fruits on the tree. He saw the same little boy underneath the tree. He became quite happy and rushed towards him. He became angry to see prints of nails on the little boy's palms and feet. Eventually, he realised that the little boy was a divine power of God. Once, the giant let the little boy play in his garden. The little boy also wanted to take the giant to his garden of paradise in return. The giant died at last, and his dead body was completely covered with white flowers.

This story teaches us not to be selfish. We should love and help others as much as we can, especially children.


SHORT SUMMARY

Write a short summary of the story "The Selfish Giant".

The Selfish Giant by Oscar Wilde

Once upon a time, there was a beautiful garden of the giant in his castle. During his absence, the schoolchildren used to play there. After seven years, when the giant returned from his friend the cornish ogre, he became furious to find children playing in his garden. He chased them out of his garden and put up a high wall around it, along with a notice board with a warning line:

 "TRESPASSERS WILL BE PROSECUTED"

The children became quite upset because they didn't find a proper place to play. Due to the selfish nature of the giant, the spring season stopped appearing in his garden. Other forces of winter, such as the frost, the north wind, the hail and the snow started appearing there. The giant became sad to find the spring season outside but not in his garden.

One morning, he saw a wonderful sight. He saw the children entering his garden through a small hole in the wall and playing in his garden. He found the spring season once again in his garden. He saw a small boy in one of the farthest corners who was unable to climb up the tree and was crying. The sight made the giant realise his mistake. He went there and helped the boy. The boy kissed the giant, who was happy. The giant broke the wall of his garden and allowed all the children to play in it. He started playing with them. Time passed, and the giant became old and feeble. He tried his best to find his lovable little boy most of the time, but couldn't find him. One day, while he was sitting in his chair, he saw the same boy once again in one of the corners of the garden. He rushed towards there but became angry to find signs of nails on the boy's palms and feet. When he asked the boy about those signs, the boy related to him about his help and offered him his garden, which was the garden of paradise. That particular afternoon, the giant was found dead underneath a big tree. His body was covered with flowers.


EXERCISE (Q & A)

"The Selfish Giant" Exercise (Questions and Answers)

The Selfish Giant by Oscar Wilde

UNDERSTANDING THE TEXT

a. Where did the children use to play?

Answer:

The children used to play in a beautiful garden of giant during the afternoon after school.


b. What did the Snow and the Frost do to the garden?

Answer:

The Snow and the Frost were the two agents who appeared in the giant's garden after the rude behaviour of the giant against the children. The snow covered up the grass with her great white cloak, and the frost painted all the trees silver. They even invited the North Wind to stay with them.


c. What did the giant hear when he was lying awake in bed?

Answer:

The giant heard some lovely music from a little singing bird linnet when he was lying awake in bed. He heard the music after a long time.


d. Why do you think spring season never came to the giant's garden?

Answer:

I think the spring season never came to the giant's garden because she became quite sad and angry with the giant's rude and selfish behaviour which he showed against the innocent children. 


e. How did the giant realise his mistake?

Answer:

The giant realised his mistake after experiencing unusual changes in his garden. He found snow, frost, north wind, fog etc. in his garden. His heart melted to see the sight of crying little child. He felt guilty himself for all those acts that he had done against the children. When the children reappeared in his garden, the garden once again bloomed with leaves and flowers. He even heard the chirping of birds in his garden. Thus, he realised his mistake.


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REFERENCE TO THE CONTEXT

A. Read the extracts given below and answer the questions that follow.

a. “How happy we were there!” they said to each other.

i. Where does ‘there’ refer to?

Answer:

'There' refers to the giant's garden, where children used to play after school.


ii. What does ‘they’ refer to?

Answer:

'They' refer to the school children who used to come and play in Giant's garden after school.


iii. Why are they saying so?

Answer:

They are saying so because they aren't allowed to play in the giant's garden anymore. The giant has chased them out of his garden in a very furious mood.


b. “I have many beautiful flowers,” he said; “but the children are the most beautiful flowers of all.”

i. Who is the speaker?

Answer:

The speaker is an old and feeble giant who keeps on watching the children at their play sitting on his armchair.


ii. Who is he speaking to?

Answer:

He is speaking to himself admiring his garden.


iii. Who are ‘the children’ that the speaker is referring to?

Answer:

'The children' that the speaker is referring to are the small and innocent schoolchildren who enjoy a lot in the giant's garden.


iv. Why is the speaker saying that ‘the children are the most beautiful flowers of all’?

Answer:

The speaker is saying that 'the children are the most beautiful flowers of all' because he has experienced the presence of children in his garden. He has observed their simplicity and innocence. He believes that the children are the gift of beautiful nature, and their presence has made the entire garden look so beautiful and bloom with different kinds of leaves and flowers. He makes the comparison here to value the children more because he knows the value of children in his garden than the flowers.


c. When the little child smiled at the Giant, and said to him, "You let me play once in your garden, today you shall come with me to my garden, which is Paradise," shortly afterwards, the happy giant dies. What is the coincidence of this event? Describe it in relation to this fairy tale.

Answer:

The next time, the little child reappears in one of the garden's corners. The giant is quite old and feeble at this time. The little child appears this time to favour the giant, who once had favoured him to play in his garden. The giant keeps on searching and waiting for the little child. He is, in reality, alive, only to meet the enchanted little child. Finally, after the little child's words, he dies in the afternoon.


B. The story makes use of personification as one of the main figures of speech. Cite three examples of personification from the story. What is the significance of the seasons personified in the story?

Answer:

Here, the writer has perfectly used a figure of speech. The three examples of personification are the snow, the frost and the north wind. The significance of the seasons personified in the story is that they are related to nature and play a very vital role in transforming the giant's garden with a unique force against bad deeds.


C. This story can be read as a fairytale, where the children, the seasons, the tree, the corner of the garden, the snow, the wind and the frost are all used as symbolism. Interpret those symbols.

Answer: 

Here, the spring season symbolizes happiness whereas the winter season symbolizes suffering. The tree symbolizes the identity of the child as Christ. The corner of the garden symbolizes the sacred place of God from where redemption is possible. The snow, the wind and the frost symbolize unique forces against bad deeds.


D. Which figure of speech is used for ‘winter, frost, snow, north wind, hail and little child’? Who is the little child compared to?

Answer:

Here in this short story, we find the perfect use of personification. Here, winter, frost, snow, north wind, hail and little children have been wonderfully personified. Among these winter, frost and snow have been personified as the feminine gender with a unique force. They have done their tasks against the giant's acts. The north wind, hail and little child have been personified as masculine genders with powers.

The little child is compared to the almighty Lord Jesus in this story. This little child has been presented with divine powers who have the power to change everything. Due to his presence, the garden has bloomed with beautiful leaves and flowers. The signs of two nails on the palms and feet of the little child have reminded us of the crucifixion of the Lord Jesus.


REFERENCE BEYOND THE TEXT

a. What is the main theme of this story?

Answer:

There are various themes here in this story, such as arrogance, the consequences of selfishness, love and compassion, the concept of salvation etc. Good deeds are always rewarded whereas bad deeds are always punished. Here, we simply find the arrogance of the giant and his selfishness towards the children, which have brought bad results for him. But, due to his good deeds, he gets a fine platform to reach paradise.


b. Does God punish those who are cruel to children and very selfish? 

Answer:

Yes, God punishes those who are cruel to children and very selfish. Children are supposed to be very innocent and babies of God. They are known for their simplicity. Their presence is a sign of a good omen. We can get a fine example from this story about God's punishment for the giant. He feels guilty about his bad deeds.


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