The Selfish Giant by Oscar Wilde – Summary & Questions and Answers

The Selfish Giant Study Guide

Oscar Wilde’s The Selfish Giant is a story about human compassion for animals and nature.

Summary of The Selfish Giant

The Giant’s garden was rather lovely. It was a favourite with children. They used to enter the vast magnificent garden with flowers and fruit trees every afternoon on their way home from school.

The Giant, on the other hand, was selfish. He arrived home one day after seven years with his friend and noticed the children playing in the garden. He yelled violently at them, and they fled. The Giant determined that no other team would be permitted to play there. As a result, he erected a high boundary wall around it. He also posted a note warning that anyone accessing the garden would face repercussions.

The impoverished children had nowhere else to go. They despised playing on the dusty, stone-strewn road.

Then spring arrived throughout the land. Only in the Selfish Giant’s garden was it still winter. There were no flowers blooming and no birds singing. The only visitors were the snow and frost, which cast a silvery sheen on all the trees. All day, the north wind howled there. Additionally, it requested the hailstones’ arrival.

The Giant was perplexed as to why spring went through his garden. It was perpetually winter there.

He was awakened one morning by the wonderful melody of a linnet outside his window. He leapt from his bed and glanced out. He witnessed a magnificent sight. The children had infiltrated the house via a gaping hole in the wall. They sat on the limbs of trees that greeted them with flowers. Only in one corner was winter still in effect. A young child was crying as he walked around the tree. He was too little to scale the wall.

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The Giant’s heart began to melt. He exited the house and entered the garden. When they saw him, the children fled. The garden reverted to winter.

The Selfish Giant – NCERT Solutions

Q. Why is the Giant called selfish?

Ans. The Giant was labelled selfish because he wanted to keep his garden to himself. Outsiders were not permitted to enter.

Q. On one occasion the children said: “How happy we are here!” Later they said: “How happy we were there!” What are they referring to in both cases?

Ans. The children are referring to the Giant’s garden on both occasions. They are having fun in the giant’s garden, according to the opening sentence. However, in the second statement, it is out of their reach.

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Q. When spring came, it was still winter in the garden. What does winter stand for or indicate here?

Ans. Winter explains that flowers did not bloom in the Giant’s garden. The birds didn’t sing. There was no hint of joy and vegetation.

Q. Winter has been presented as a story with its own characters and their activities. Describe the story in your own words.

Ans. Winter has been shown as a destroyer. It has its own cast of characters. The most noticeable factors are snow and frost. The trees have been draped in a white robe. The trees appear to be lifeless. The north wind has decided to make a permanent home there. Hail falls to the roof.

Q. Was the Giant happy or sad over the state of the garden?

Ans. The Giant felt sad to see the state of his garden. Different seasons brought no change in it.

Q. What effect did the linnet’s song have over Hail and the North Wind?

Ans. As an effect of the linnet’s song, the Hail stopped dancing over his head. Similarly, the North Wind ceased roaring.

Q. The Giant saw a most wonderful sight. What did he see?

Ans. The Giant noticed that the children had entered the garden through a small breach in the wall. They were sitting in the tree branches. There was a small child in every tree he could see. And the trees were so relieved to see the children again that they had covered themselves in blossoms and were softly waving their hands above the child run’s heads. Flowers were giggling as they flew and twittered with glee.

Q. What did he realise on seeing it?

Ans. He realised that he himself was to blame for the year-round winter in his garden. He called himself selfish.

Q. Why was it still winter in one corner of the garden?

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Ans. Only in one section of the garden was winter still present. The reason for this was that a small child could not climb the tree like the other boys. He sobbed in front of a tree.

Q. Describe the first meeting of the little boy and the Giant.

Ans. When the boy and the Giant first met, the Giant tenderly took him and placed him in a branch of that tree. The tree burst into bloom, and the birds began to sing. The Giant was kissed by the child.

Q. Describe their second meeting after a long interval.

Ans. The Giant saw wounds on the little boy’s hand and feet during their second reunion after so many years. He became enraged. He wished to assassinate the man who had injured the child. But the boy claimed that those were love wounds.

Q. The Giant lay dead, all covered with white blossoms. What does this sentence indicate about the once selfish Giant?

Ans. This signifies that the Giant had received Lord Christ’s blessing. Because he was neither cruel nor selfish, Christ forgave him and took him to heaven.

Q. The little child’s hands and feet had marks of nails. Who does the child remind you of? Give a reason for your answer.

Ans. The nail imprints on the child’s hands and feet serve as a reminder of the Lord Christ. He was nailed to a cross and had nails hammered into his palms and feet.

Q. Is there something like this garden near where you live? Would you like one (without the Giant perhaps) and why? What would you do to keep it in good shape?

Ans. A park is a public space. It functions similarly to the lungs in the human body. It provides us with clean air. The greenery is calming to the eyes. A private garden, on the other hand, must be treated with prudence and care by the people. Even in a public park, children must not destroy the flower beds and grassy lawns. I would never play football in a park or allow other children to do so.

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