Free Research Paper On The Selfish Giant As A Literary Fairy Tale

Type of paper: Research Paper

Topic: Children, Garden, Family, Giant, Society, Life, Jesus Christ, Literature

Pages: 3

Words: 825

Published: 2021/01/06

The primary impression of this book by Oscar Wilde is encompassed by the phrase that is spoken by the giant that he has many beautiful flowers, but the most beautiful of all flowers are children. In this tale, Wilde infuses parables in order to emulate the way that Jesus would have combined a story with a message. Wilde was not conventionally a very religious person; however, the concepts about faith and sermons used to fascinate him. He was fascinated by the thought of Jesus speaking in parables; this explains the reason he used puzzles in a similar way to in order to cause the same effect of amazement and surprise that Jesus used to generate. Wilde writes this tale in the advent of the parable that Jesus told about children coming to him for there is the kingdom of heaven. He presents this book with the similar theme when he says that the giant chases the children who used to play at his garden away until it turned into eternal winter, when the children started playing there again it bloomed which melted the giant’s heart.
Oscar Wilde was a very successful playwright of his time, but he was also characterized by contradiction and complexity. Born in 1854 in Dublin to a prominent surgeon and a nationalist poetess, he attended Trinity College in Dublin and further went on to Magdalene College in Oxford. He later moved to London where he established himself as a lecturer and writer of periodicals but notably as a spokesperson of the artistic society whose ideology was ‘art for art’s sake.’ Wilde developed an interest in writing short fiction like ‘the selfish giant’, but he mostly excelled as a critic of literature and society. But his most outstanding success came as a writer of society comedies which were staged in London. Wilde’s last year were, however, punctuated with scandal that saw him spend the better part of his life in prison for allegations that he has a homosexual affair with Lord Alfred Douglas.
The duality of Wilde is intriguing as well as perplexing. He was a man who possessed different identities in the society and his place in the society was uncertain. His way of life was a constant bewilderment of tarnished personal life and motivated imaginative output. He pens ‘the selfish giant’ with the primary aim that it could be so easy to be understood by the audience that is mostly intended for – children, as well as being able to be appreciated by adult readers too. By portraying the giant as selfish and egocentric at first, Wilde seeks to instill the notion that he was unhappy and cold because of this theme. But later when he allowed the children to play in his castle, it brought him so much warmth and happiness. Perhaps he tries to bring out the understanding that it is a sin or uncalled for to be selfish. Just the way that Jesus did by saying that let all children go to him for the kingdom of heaven belongs to them.
Being an Anglo-Irish man, Wilde was a Protestant who seemed to have a strong leaning towards Catholic teachings and theorems. It is for this reason that he reflects Christianity in his literary articles by relating some of his articles to Christian teachings. He is seen as an advocate of morality in the society despite the fact that he was also perceived to have a questionable and tainted moral standing in his later years. The incapability to lead a virtuous life that he advocated leads to a contradiction of his artistic representation and claims. As he portrays the selfish giant as selfish and self-centered by denying children to play in his garden, so does he describe him as remorseful by saying that ‘how selfish I have been as his heart melted, spring would not come to my garden because I chased the children from my garden and now I will put that boy up on the tree and knock down the wall and let them play in my garden forever and ever’ (Wilde 1888). The Christian dimension is manifested in the tale when he says that the young boy came back later and took him to paradise. His imagery of the tree in the article may represent the tree in the Garden of Eden and the garden itself presents the biblical Garden of Eden.
Wilde depicts the giant as an instrument that comes to terms about the respectable way that people ought to carry themselves when it comes to the morality of the society. Wilde, therefore, sets to outline and show the consequences of selfishness. Wilde also brings out the Christian allegory that offers themes like sacrifice, selflessness, and forgiveness. The contradiction of his artistic articles and the way he lived are seen when he is asked to describe his life and says that people claimed his life was a lie, and he asserted that it might be true. He often employed the well-established late Victorian perception of twofold personality as well as the dualistic theme that Wilde reveals in the language and in the tactics of lying in order to exploit the hypocrisy that exists in the society. The human psychology that Wilde incorporates in his literary work also is asserted here that as human beings our minds are set in such a way that if we do something that does us harm and is not benefiting to us, we do away with it altogether. The selfish giant also desisted from denying the children a chance to play in his garden which led to his garden not to blossom. Despite presenting crucial lessons in morality and some Christianity, Wilde was a ruined man after his release from prison (Fridell 2014). By this time he was divorced, declared bankrupt, fled to France and led an anonymous life where he died.

Works cited

Wilde, Oscar. The Happy Prince and Other Tales. Seaside: Watchmaker Publishing, 2012. Print.
Fridell, Sarah. Dualism in Oscar Wilde’s The Importance of Being Earnest.Spring 2004 retrieved from

Cite this page
Choose cite format:
  • APA
  • MLA
  • Harvard
  • Vancouver
  • Chicago
  • ASA
  • IEEE
  • AMA
WePapers. (2021, January, 06) Free Research Paper On The Selfish Giant As A Literary Fairy Tale. Retrieved September 30, 2023, from
"Free Research Paper On The Selfish Giant As A Literary Fairy Tale." WePapers, 06 Jan. 2021, Accessed 30 September 2023.
WePapers. 2021. Free Research Paper On The Selfish Giant As A Literary Fairy Tale., viewed September 30 2023, <>
WePapers. Free Research Paper On The Selfish Giant As A Literary Fairy Tale. [Internet]. January 2021. [Accessed September 30, 2023]. Available from:
"Free Research Paper On The Selfish Giant As A Literary Fairy Tale." WePapers, Jan 06, 2021. Accessed September 30, 2023.
WePapers. 2021. "Free Research Paper On The Selfish Giant As A Literary Fairy Tale." Free Essay Examples - Retrieved September 30, 2023. (
"Free Research Paper On The Selfish Giant As A Literary Fairy Tale," Free Essay Examples -, 06-Jan-2021. [Online]. Available: [Accessed: 30-Sep-2023].
Free Research Paper On The Selfish Giant As A Literary Fairy Tale. Free Essay Examples - Published Jan 06, 2021. Accessed September 30, 2023.

Share with friends using:

Related Premium Essays
Contact us
Chat now