“There is no mystery so great as misery” – The “Happy” Prince
What does it take to achieve true happiness? In “The Happy Prince,” a short story by Oscar Wilde, the spirit of a prince and a little swallow find true happiness through doing good deeds. This is the central idea that Oscar Wilde is trying to get across: “Good deeds mark the path to true happiness.” This is stated mainly through 3 points, which are that the Swallow and Statue Go to heaven for their actions, the prince lived a life of pleasure but only felt true happiness when he helped his people out of poverty, and the Swallow and statue go to heaven for their actions and are named earth’s most precious things.
The so-called “Happy” prince had ironically never felt true happiness until he helped his people out of poverty. For all of his life, he lived a life of pleasure in the palace of Sans-Souci, but never had the pleasure of feeling true happiness. When he died, the town made a statue honoring him in which his spirit inhabited. However, it was not an honor to look down upon his city. His people were poor, homeless, and starving. Human misery was everywhere and this upset the prince very much; so much that his mood contradicted that of his own nickname. For all of eternity he was destined to watch his people suffer until one fateful day a little swallow came along and was persuaded into becoming his messenger. This is when the prince started to feel some sense of what it really means to be happy.
This little swallow acted as a courier to the prince and played out all of his actions. He gave a withered seamstress with a sick boy in bed a ruby from the statue’s sword and it sort of gave both the swallow and the statue a funny new feeling, and although it was quite cold outside they felt warm because that feeling was a little taste of happiness. Tempted by this feeling, the swallow decides to stay with the prince another night...