Sunday, March 18, 2012

Day Seventy-Eight: "The Selfish Giant" by Oscar Wilde


Told in parable/fable form, this story is about a giant whose garden dies and doesn't blossom even in the Spring and Summer after he has put up a wall and banned all the children. Ultimately of course, he comes to realize what has happened, how his selfishness and his unwillingness to be vulnerable has left him alone and cold. He knocks down the wall, invites the children back in, and the flowers and trees bloom once more.

I liked this but the ending was a bit strange to me, particularly because it was truly a children's story until that point. However, when a child returns as an adult with stigmata on its hands and feet, I was thrown off as it came out of nowhere. I guess it could be interpreted as Wilde's attempt at touching on the vulnerability that comes with giving one's self to a religious belief but in light of the rest of the story, I'm not sure. It left me puzzled but even so, this was an enjoyable read and quite unexpected. I approve!

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