Short Stories

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The Model Millionaire by Oscar Wilde
Introduction

Let’s begin with the synopsis of this short story. Hughie Erskine is a gorgeous and well-known man. He has every accomplishment except earning money. He tries everything; from being an investor, a tea- merchant, to selling dry sherry. Nothing works and what makes thing worse that he is in love. The girl is Laura Merton, the daughter of a retired Colonel. Both are madly in love and adoring each other. The problem is, Hughie had no idea how he could manage to get ten thousand pounds to get her hand in marriage, as her father has demand. One day, Hughie’s benevolent nature leads him to a wonderful consequence. Given ten thousand by a ‘beggar’ as a wedding present, Hughie could marry Laura instantly with no doubt. The writer of this story, Oscar Wilde was an Irish playwright, novelist, poet, and author of short stories. He is known for being humorous and some of his plays still being performed broadly, especially The Importance of Being Earnest. After I have read this story a few times, I’ve found out that there are some parts of the story that keep me reading; attentively. The title itself had made me thinking, what this jobless man is going to do with ‘model millionaire’? I’m quite sure that this is not a story where a man with no profession suddenly found a treasure in his backyard and then became an instant millionaire. He must be overcoming something, or struggling to make his dreams come true. Other than that, I don’t have to wait for too long because the author did not take time to introduce the important part of the story.

Narration Style

The Model Millionaire is a story where not any of the character is narrating the story. We called it omniscient point of view. Everyone in the story is being exposed to the reader without prejudice. The narrator knows the entire events that happen. What makes this story more significant is that the narrator intrusively being in depth in showing how a certain character feels and comment about another person; establishing his personal view. For instance, Alan Trevor the painter is introduced as a strange rough fellow yet he feels free to allow Hughie to enter his studio. This is because he believes Hughie is not only charming, but he got the sense of optimistic spirits and charitable nature. Other than that, the tone of this story is familiar and I found it most suitable. It is being told straight to the point, not like other story which requires us to read with so much confusion and critical thinking. The author makes it understandable, at ease and not to forget, he includes the sense of didacticism.

Plot

This short story is being written chronologically and it has close ending where Hughie finally marry his beautiful Laura. The part where Hughie gives ‘the beggar’ a sovereign is a complete turnover of this story. Hughie is expecting the millionaire to be mad at him because he falsely regarded him as a beggar. Ironically Baron Hausberg, the millionaire gives him ten thousands to show his appreciation towards Hughie’s charitable nature. As for me, both the rising action and the climax are well developed. Apart from that, I think the ending is quite monotonous. The typical ‘living happily ever after’ has take place. What will happen to Hughie after he gets married? How about his failure to get permanent income? The then thousand pounds won’t be sufficient till the end of their life, isn’t it?

Characterization

As long as I’m concern, the characters are quite well developed and presented. There is adequate description about every single character; certainly it’s according to their level of contribution in the story. For instance, Hughie is being depicted as handsome, having crisp brown hair, clear-cut profile and grey eyes. His nature of generosity and buoyancy are revealed indirectly by Alan Trevor’s point of view.Alan Trevor is portrayed as rare, with freckled face and a red raged beard. In addition, even the...
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