The Selfish Giant Themes by Oscar Wilde


The Giant represents the human vices of arrogance and greed. The Giant is proud of his garden and wants to enjoy it all on its own. He refuses even innocent children to enter it and find them annoying. Due to his heart filled with arrogance, he does not feel affection toward anyone and lives a life full of anger and pride.


The Giant does not want any company as he does not want anyone else to share the beauty of his garden. He is selfish and thus finds himself all alone. He threatens and scares everyone including small children. This rude behavior of the Giant isolates him and also leaves his garden in a wintry and frozen state.

Love and Compassion

The small that the Giant helps kisses him and thanks to him for the assistance. This token of love and gratitude melts the Giant’s seemingly cold heart and he decides to break the walls of his garden.

He enjoys letting kids wander and play inside his garden and even joins them in all the frolics. The warm emotions of compassion and care bring a change in the Giant’s view of others and make him more content and happy in his own life. Finally, he finds solace and dies in peace.


The central theme of the story is about salvation and saving oneself from the ultimate punishment of a loveless life. The Giant was all alone because he did not show love to others. He considered them a nuisance.

However, when he realizes that the small children only wanted to play and smile, he welcomed them in his garden. The spring brought blossoming flowers through those children and finally, the Giant found love and affection.