Last Updated 06 Jul 2020

The Selfish Giant Summary

Words 943 (3 pages)
Views 471

“The selfish giant” is a short story by Oscar Wilde with the elements of fantasy and fairy-tales. Oscar Wild, the author, is a famous Irish story-teller, playwright. A lot of stories show the mastery of Oscar Wilde’s story narrating skills. The Selfish giant is a bright example of his witty, intriguing and absorbing works. The topic the author touches upon in a story is a theme.

The story is about the unselfish love. The author reveals the Giant as a representative of the world. But the world is selfish and the author shows that a person living in such a world is miserable and unhappy.Such is the giant. But when he realizes that he is alone, nobody helps him and there is no life surrounding him, the Giant gets down to doing smth. Once the wall was torn down, life and laughter was all around. When the winter came and only one spot was like spring, the giant realized that the little boy had returned only to find him wounded.

The giant recognized his sins and was ready to stand up for the by. Due to this the message of the story is quite clear: Good triumphs over evil. And it creates an atmosphere of a real fairy-tale.The story is told in the third person narration. The reason the author uses this kind of narration is quite objective. He wants to relate the thoughts of all the characters: the giant, the children. The author becomes the omniscient.

Haven’t found the relevant content? Hire a subject expert to help you with The Selfish Giant Summary

Hire writer

He moves freely in and out of the giant’s and children thoughts and comments freely on what these characters think and say. The place where the action takes place constitutes the setting of a story. The global setting of the story is Britain at the beginning of the 20th century. The local setting is clearly shown.It is an amazing garden. And while reading the story a reader can imagine he lives there during winter and spring seasons. The composition of “Selfish giant” is regular.

All the events are described in a chronological order. Judging by the message of the story we can identify the exposition, complication climax and denouement which constitute the plot of the story. Exposition: allows a reader to enter an exciting garden “with soft green grass” and “beautiful flowers like stars’. It belongs to the selfish giant who forbids children to play in it.Complication of the story reveals the moment when winter comes to the garden and the season lasts longer. Beyond the compound of the garden, the season changes into spring, but in the ‘Giant’s garden’ it is winter. The ‘Selfish Giant’ is even worried to see that the winter season lasts longer in his garden alone with frost lingering on.

Climax: The giant sees a small boy standing inside his garden under a tree. Giant is pleased very much to see that the tree in which the boy stands is abound with blossoming flowers. Spring has returned to this tree alone. And the giant realizes that where the real happiness lies.Denouement: One day, all of a sudden, the giant sees that the small boy is standing under a tree in a corner of his garden. The Giant runs towards him. He sees that the small boy has nail marks in his hands and legs.

He tells the Giant that he has come to his garden just because he allowed a small boy into his garden. The ‘Selfish Giant’ is struck with awe and kneels down before him. The next day, the children who have come to play in the garden see that the ‘Selfish Giant’ lay dead in the garden under a tree and is covered with full of white flowers. The central characters of the story ate the giant and a small boy.The giant is a protagonist which is clear from the message of the story. Both the characters are flat. They are one sided and the author describes them using one trait.

The small boy is shown as a static character and the giant as a dynamic one as we can see his development throughout a story. “And the Giant's heart melted as he looked out. 'How selfish I have been! ' he said; 'now I know why the Spring would not come here”, - the author says. The whole story is rich in stylistic devices and symbols. Oscar Wilde used many symbols to create an atmosphere of the fairytale .A special example of this is the giant itself, because Oscar Wilde didn’t use him as a normal person. The other symbol is a great wall.

That wall represents the giant's heart. First the wall is sealed tight and no one is coming in or out. But after a long time he feels lonely, and the wall finds a crack. This is where the children sneak in, and the giant's heart melt. The next example of symbols is the little boy who couldn't reach the branches of the tree. It is the so called test to give the giant the opportunity to do something kind, and he takes it.The most important device in the story is personification.

The different aspects of nature were given the ability to behavior like a person: talking, sleeping and dancing. For example when the giant was selfish, and closed up his garden. The winter and cold moved in to his life without leaving. The North wind was dancing, and said that they should invite the hail. The trees as well, bent as low as they could for the little boy who was too tiny for the tree climbing. As if trees could bend on their own free will. That makes a reader to judge who is good and who is bad in this world.

The Selfish Giant Summary essay

Haven’t found the relevant content? Hire a subject expert to help you with The Selfish Giant Summary

Hire writer

Cite this page

The Selfish Giant Summary. (2019, Feb 15). Retrieved from

Not Finding What You Need?

Search for essay samples now

We use cookies to give you the best experience possible. By continuing we’ll assume you’re on board with our cookie policy

Save time and let our verified experts help you.

Hire writer