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Class 11 English: Summary of The Selfish Giant by Oscar Wilde | Exercise | Question & Answer

Class 11 English: Summary of The Selfish Giant by Oscar Wilde | Exercise | Question & Answer

Class 11 English: Summary of The Selfish Giant

We'll look at the summary of The Selfish Giant in this article. "Oscar Wilde" is the author of this lesson. The story's message is one of coexistence and spreading love. It's the story of a young guy who was both a divine messenger and a ruthless behemoth. The giant forbade youngsters from playing in his garden. As a result, winter was constantly present in his garden.

He realized he was being selfish after seeing this young man. As a result, he let the kids play in his garden as well as with them. After a few years, the colossus began to deteriorate. This young man appeared at that precise time and whisked him away to heaven.

Class 11 English :  Summary of The Selfish Giant

About Story

Oscar Wilde wrote the short story 'The Selfish Giant' for children. In 1888, it was first published in the anthology The Happy Prince and Other Tales. This is a story about a giant who learned an important lesson about love and sharing, and it has different meanings for different ages.

Short Summary of The Selfish Giant

Once upon a time, in the giant's castle, there was a lovely garden. The schoolchildren used to play there during his absence. When the giant returned from his friend Cornish Ogre after seven years, he was enraged to find children playing in his garden. He chased them out of his garden and built a high wall around it, as well as a notice board with the words "TRESPASSERS WILL BE PROSECUTED."

The kids were upset because they couldn't find a safe place to play. Because of the giant's selfishness, the spring season has ceased to appear in his garden. Other seasons, such as frost, north wind, hail, and snow, began to appear there. The giant was disappointed to discover that spring had arrived outside but not in his garden.

He saw a wonderful sight one morning. He noticed the children entering his garden through a small hole in the wall and playing in it. In his garden, he discovered the return of spring. He noticed a small boy crying in one of the farthest corners, unable to climb the tree. The sight made the giant realize he had made a mistake. He went there to assist the boy. The boy kissed the giant, who was overjoyed. The giant tore down his garden wall, allowing all of the children to play in it. He began to play with them. As time passed, the giant grew old and feeble. 

He tried his hardest most of the time to find his lovable boy, but he couldn't find him. One day, while sitting in his chair, he noticed the same boy in one of the garden's corners. He dashed over there, but became enraged when he discovered nail marks on the boy's palms and feet. When he inquired about him, the boy told him about his assistance and offered him his garden, which was the Garden of Paradise. That afternoon, the giant was discovered dead beneath a large tree. Flowers were strewn all over his body.

Main Summary of The Selfish Giant

Every afternoon after school, the children play in the Giant's garden, which begins the narrative. The garden was lovely, with lots of soft grass and fruit trees. The trees produced much fruit, and the birds who sat on them sang pleasantly.

After seven years, the giant reappeared. He was staying with his Cornish Ogre buddy. The kids were terrified to see him. When he observed the kids playing, he claimed he wouldn't let anybody else play in his garden since it was his. He erected a wall around it as well as a bulletin board. "Intruders will be prosecuted," said a notice on the bulletin board. The kids were sad since they didn't have anywhere else to play. They'd walk around the high garden walls, remembering the lovely garden within.

The spring season had arrived, and there were flowers and little birds in abundance. However, it was winter in the giant's garden, and frost and snow were present. The birds did not sing in the absence of children. The grass once sprouted a flower, but when he saw the bulletin board, he fell asleep again. Then came the hailstorm and the north wind. The golden autumn fruits did not reach the giant's garden due to his selfishness.

The giant then heard lovely and exquisite music one morning. Outside his window, he heard a squirrel singing. He could sense spring when the hail and north wind ceased. He noticed the kids coming into his garden via a tiny opening. The youngsters were sitting on the limbs of the trees, which were in full blossom. He also heard the birds chirp and watched them soar. Flowers had also bloomed.

Winter, though, remained in one corner, much to his astonishment. He noticed a young child standing nearby, unable to reach the tree limbs. Even if the tree dropped its branches, it was still unable to ascend. 

His heart warmed as he saw this image. He realized he was truly rather self-centered. He planned to place the youngster at the top of the tree, demolish the fences, and let the kids play here indefinitely. When the children discovered it, they ran away, and the garden reverted to winter. That youngster, on the other hand, did not flee while wailing. When the giant placed it on top of the tree, it quickly bloomed. He kissed the colossus.

When the other children returned, they discovered that the giant was not malevolent. With them, spring has returned. Every afternoon, the giant used to play with the kids, but that youngster was nowhere to be seen. It weakened significantly over time.

He noticed a lovely tree with white blossoms in the nook one winter morning. The tree's limbs were golden, and the youngster stood beneath them.

The giant became furious when the boy was hurt. He informed the kid that the man who had harmed him would be killed. These were the scars of love, the youngster said. The youngster greeted the giant with a grin and invited him to his garden. Later, the youngsters discovered the giant's body behind a white-flower-draped tree.

The Selfish Giant: Exercise | Question & Answer

Understanding The Text 

a. Where did the children use to play?
➤ The children used to play in a beautiful garden of giant during afternoon time after their school.

b. What did the Snow and the Frost do to the garden?
➤ The Snow and Frost were the two agents who appeared in the giant's garden following the giant's rude behavior toward the children. The Snow draped her vast white mantle over the grass, while Frost painted all the trees silver. They even invited the North Wind to join them for the night.

c. What did the giant hear when he was lying awake in bed?
➤ The giant heard some lovely music of 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?
➤ I think the spring season even became sad along with the children. She became so angry and never came to the giant's garden to find the giant's rudeness and selfishness against the innocent children.

e. How did the giant realize his mistake?
➤ The giant recognized his mistake when he saw unexpected changes in his garden. In his garden, he discovered snow, frost, north wind, fog, and other elements. He felt personally responsible for all of his actions against the children. When the youngsters reappeared in his garden, it flowered once again with leaves and flowers. He even heard birds chirping in his garden. As a result, he recognized his error.

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

ii. What does ‘they’ refer to?
➤ They refer to the children who used to come and play in Giant's garden after school.

iii. Why are they saying so?
➤ 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 being furious.

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

i. Who is the speaker?
➤ 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?
➤ He is speaking to himself admiring his garden.

iii. Who are ‘the children’ that the speaker is referring to?
➤ 'The Children' that the speaker is referring to are the small and innocent school children who enjoy a lot in giant's garden.

iv. Why is the speaker saying that ‘the children are the most beautiful flowers of all’?
Because he has witnessed the presence of children in his garden, the speaker believes that "children are the most beautiful flowers of all." He has noticed their purity and simplicity. He feels that the children are a gift from nature, and that their presence has made the entire garden appear so lovely and bloom with many types of leaves and flowers. He uses the connection here to value children highly because he understands the worth of children in his garden is greater than the value of 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.
➤ The small child emerges in one of the garden's nooks the next time. At this point, the giant is exceedingly elderly and frail. This time, the young boy seemed to favor the giant who once allowed him to play in his garden. The giant continues to look for and wait for the small youngster. In actuality, he is only living to meet the entranced small child. Finally, he dies in the afternoon after hearing the small child's words.

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?
➤ The writer has utilized a figure of speech nicely here. The Snow, Frost, and North Wind are three examples of personification. The seasons are significant in the narrative because they are tied to nature and play a critical part in converting the giant's garden with a unique force against wicked acts.

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.
➤ In this context, the spring season represents happiness, whereas the winter season represents misery. The tree represents the child's identify as Christ. The garden's corner represents God's hallowed location, from whence atonement is possible. The snow, wind, and ice represent a unique force against evil crimes.

D. Which figure of speech is used for ‘winter, frost, snow, north wind, hail and little child’? Who is the little child compared to?
➤ This short story makes excellent use of personification. Winter, frost, snow, north wind, hail, and a small infant have all been perfectly portrayed here. Frost and snow, among these cold elements, have been personified as feminine genders with particular power. They completed their responsibilities in opposition to the giant's actions. The north wind, hail, and the young kid have all been personified as masculine genders with abilities.

In this narrative, the small Child is contrasted to the all-powerful Lord Jesus. This young boy has been endowed with divine abilities and the ability to influence the course of history. The garden has flourished with gorgeous leaves and flowers as a result of his presence. The signs of two nails on the palms and feet of the little child have reminded us of the crucifixion of Lord Jesus.

Reference Beyond The Text

a. What is the main theme of this story?
➤ This story contains a number of topics such as arrogance, the repercussions of selfishness, love and compassion, the notion of salvation, and so on. Bad acts are always punished, and good ones are always rewarded. Here, we simply see the giant's arrogance and selfishness toward the youngsters, both of which have had negative consequences for him. However, because of his excellent actions, he has a good platform to enter heaven.

b. Does God punish those who are cruel to children and very selfish? 
➤ Yes, God punishes those who are unkind to children and extremely self-centered. Children are meant to be God's most innocent creations. They are well-known for their straightforwardness. Their presence indicates a positive omen. This narrative of God's punishment of the giant is a great illustration. He is self-condemned for his wicked conduct.

What is the summary of The Selfish Giant?
It's the story of a little kid who was both a God's messenger and a ruthless Goliath. The giant forbade the youngsters from playing in his garden. As a result, winter was constantly present in his garden. He realized he was being selfish after seeing this small child.

What is the main theme of the story The Selfish Giant?
➤ The story's message is one of cohabitation and spreading love. It's the story of a young guy who was both a divine messenger and a ruthless behemoth. The giant forbade youngsters from playing in his garden. As a result, winter was constantly present in his garden.

What is the conclusion of the story The selfish giant?
➤ The Selfish Giant is a story about love and selflessness. We, too, experience a shift in our hearts after reading the narrative.

What does spring and winter symbolize in The Selfish Giant?
The spring season is associated with joy. Winter is a metaphor of sorrow since it is so harsh and frigid. The absence of a flower in the Giant's garden indicates that pleasure was not present in the garden.

What is the moral of the chapter The Selfish Giant?
➤ Happiness through real love and selflessness” says the moral of The Selfish Giant Story. “The finest sense of happiness is when you are pleased because you have made someone else happy,” this Selfish Giant informs you.

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