Happiness Begins Where Selfishness Ends

Topics: Oscar Wilde, W. S. Gilbert, The Happy Prince and Other Tales Pages: 5 (1778 words) Published: November 15, 2012
[ Happiness begins where selfishness ends]
"I have learned from experience that the greater part of our
happiness or misery depends on our dispositions and not on
our circumstances.
- Martha Washington

Ekaterina Paul

Oscar Wild presents two conflicts between the stories of "The Selfish Giant" and "The Happy Prince". The two main points is the giant being selfish and the happy prince being a helping hand to the poor society. These stories teach us realistic lessons in life, that selfishness and charity do not collide with each other. Oscar Wilde shows that consequences of the selfish giant and that you will get nowhere in life if you treat people only for your own benefit. The story of "The Happy Prince" argues the statements made in the selfish giant can be overthrown. Wilde shows the lesson of charity is more powerful then the unselfish love of the selfish giant. I shall argue that helping people to see the advantage of the happiness in your and their hearts is the most important thing in life and that taking the time could save someone. From my experience when I went to West Virginia on a mission trip I realized how happy it made me feel when the community smiled upon our helping hands. They realized that all people don't treat others with disregard. This quote will present that the giant is waiting for change but he doesn't realize he needs to change in order for the life around him to change.

"I cannot understand why the Spring is so late in coming, said the Selfish Giant, as he sat at the window and looked out at his cold white garden; I hope there will be change in the weather" (Wilde 35).

In addition, "The Selfish Giant" shows the main characteristic is being selfish. Oscar Wild reveals that the giant is a representative of the world, but the world is a symbol of selfishness and Oscar Wilde shows that a person living in such a world is miserable and unhappy just like the giant in the story. The children tried to better the giant and his life by playing in his orchard, but he wanted the garden for himself. The children symbolized the pieces that try to come into his world and change the surroundings of his life, but the children were pushed off onto the air and the giant was back to his lonely selfish self. In the story of "The Selfish Giant", Oscar Wilde states in the giants point of view, "My own garden is my own garden,' said the giant; any one can understand that, and I will allow nobody to play in it but myself.' So he built a high wall all around it, and put up a notice-board"(Wilde 34). The giant blocked himself out from everybody and didn't want to bothered with anything or anybody.

Furthermore, selfishness is a key to unhappiness. Reflecting on my own experience of being selfish, everybody has a tendency of that characteristic, is that you can't go anywhere in life if your alone in the world. Not literally but in the state of mind that you are the only selfish person within your world. You won't let anybody else enter your world because you think that is the only thing you have. Like the giant selfish people block out the good and bring in the evil. Just like spring never came for the giant until he realized reality. Oscar Wilde states in the giants point of view, "now I know why spring would not come here. I will put that poor little boy on the top of the tree, and then I will knock down the wall, and my garden shall be the children's playground forever and ever"(Wilde 36).

Following this further, you will eventually have to give in to being miserable and let the outside world into your heart. Oscar Wilde presents the aftermath of the situation as a celebration of a bad deed that got turned over into good. Oscar Wilde states, "And the giant stole up behind him and took him gently in his hand, and put him up into the tree. And the tree broke at once into...
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