The Selfish Giant
The Selfish Giant Author: Oscar Wilde
The Selfish Giant is one of the five stories of the The Happy Prince and Other Tales collection.
The Selfish Giant owns a beautiful garden which has 12 peach trees and lovely fragrant flowers, in which children love to play after returning from the school. On the giant’s return from seven years visiting his friend the Cornish Ogre, he takes offense at the children and builds a wall to keep them out. He put a notice board “TRESSPASSERS WILL BE PROSECUTED”. The garden falls into perpetual winter. One day, the giant is awakened by a linnet, and discovers that spring has returned to the garden, as the children have found a way in through a gap in the wall. He sees the error of his ways, and resolves to destroy the wall. However, when he emerges from his castle, all the children run away except for one boy who was trying to climb a tree. The giant helps this boy into the tree and announces: “It is your garden now, little children,” and knocks down the wall. The children once more play in the garden, and spring returns. But the boy that the Giant helped does not return and the Giant is heartbroken. Many years later after happily playing with the children all the time, the Giant is old and feeble. One winter morning, he awakes to see the trees in one part of his garden in full blossom. He descends from the castle to discover the boy that he once helped lying beneath a beautiful white tree that the Giant has never seen before. The Giant sees that the boy bears the stigmata. He does not realize that the boy is actually the Christ Child and is furious that somebody has wounded him.