Back to: Andhra Pradesh Board Class 8th English Guide and Notes
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The Selfish Giant is a famous short story by Oscar Wilde. This chapter is the second part of the play that was adapted by M. Ryan Taylor. It tells us how spring finally comes back to the giant’s garden, and how he transforms from a selfish giant to a nice and kind one.
Old Giant– the narrator of the play
The Giant– the narrator’s younger self
Little boy– a little boy who is too small to climb a tree
Children– the children who come to play in the giant’s garden
Spring Comes Back to the Garden
One morning the giant was lying awake in bed when he heard some lovely music. It sounded so sweet that he thought it must be the King’s musicians passing by, but it was just a little bird singing outside his window.
It was so long since he had heard a bird sing in his garden that it seemed to be the most beautiful music in the world. The Hail had stopped dancing, and the North Wind had stopped roaring. A delicious smell was coming from the window. The giant thought that spring had come at last.
He jumped out of bed and looked out. Through a little hole in the wall the children had crept in, and were sitting in the branches of the trees. In every tree he could see a little child. The trees were so glad to have the children back that they had covered themselves with blossoms, and were waving their branches gently above the children’s heads.
The birds were flying and singing and the flowers were blooming through the green grass. Only in the farthest corner it was still Winter. A little boy was standing there. He could not reach up to the branches of the tree. The poor tree was still covered with frost and snow, and the North Wind was blowing and roaring above it.
The Tree told the boy to climb up and bent its branches down low, but the little boy was too tiny. The selfish giant’s heart melted. He realised how selfish he had been. He understood why Spring had not come. He decided he would put the little boy on top of the tree, and then he would knock down the wall, so his garden would be the children’s playground forever.
He crept downstairs and opened the front door softly, and went out into the garden. But when the children saw him, they were so frightened that they all ran away and the garden became Winter again. Only the little boy did not run, because he was crying and did not see the giant coming.
The giant took him gently in his hand, and put him up in the tree. The tree blossomed immediately, and the birds came and sang on it. The little boy hugged and kissed the giant. When the other children saw that, they came back, and with them came the Spring.
The giant declared it was the little children’s garden. He took a great axe and knocked down the wall. And when the people were going to market at twelve o’ clock they found the giant playing with the children in the most beautiful garden they had ever seen. All day long they played, and in the evening the children came to say good-bye.
The children were happy they finally had somewhere to play. The garden was much better than the hard dusty road. And the children liked all the flowers and trees. They thanked the giant and said he was a very nice giant.
The Little Boy
The giant asked where the little boy he put on the tree was. They said he had gone away. The giant said they must tell him to come the next day. But the children had never seen him before, and did not know where he lived. The giant wanted to thank him because when the boy had kissed his cheek, he felt that a great weight had been lifted from his heart.
Every afternoon, when school was over, the children came and played with the giant. But he never saw the little boy again. The old giant now says that he has grown old and feeble, waiting for the little boy. He cannot play with the children anymore, so he sits in his armchair, and watches the children, and admires his garden. The children are his most beautiful flowers.
He does not hate the winter because it is just the spring asleep. Suddenly he rubs his eyes in wonder, and looks around. In the farthest corner of the garden a tree is covered with lovely white blossoms. Its branches are all golden, and silver fruit hangs down from them, and the little boy has come back.
The Old Giant leaps down the stairs, into the snowy garden and to the grassy patch where the child is standing. When he gets close to the child and sees him, he gets angry. He asks who dared wound the child, for he will take out his big sword and slay him.
The child says those are the wounds of Love. They are necessary. The Old Giant falls to his knees and asks the little child who he is. The child smiles and says that the giant had let him play in his garden once, and today he will come with him to live in his garden which is in Paradise.
The child climbs into the old giant’s arms. The winter melts away before them as they walk into an infinite garden.
The selfish giant realises his mistake and welcomes the children back to his garden, bringing back spring as well. The little boy who touched his heart actually turns out to be God, and he visits the giant in his old age again, leading him to Paradise because he had been kind.