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Oscar Wilde The Selfish Giant

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1. Oscar Wilde - "The Selfish Giant" Atmosphere Characterization of the protagonist Symbology First of all, in order to either agree or disagree with the statement regarding Wilde's respect for children we must identify the author's tone in his narrative, "The selfish Giant". Since it is through the complex process of speech that the author reveals his attitudes to what he is talking about, his relation to his auditor or receiver, and his assumptions about the social level, intelligence, experience, values, and sensitivity of that person. Considering this, Oscar Wilde clearly has a kind and respectful attitude towards his plot and towards the reader of The Selfish Giant. His tone refers to childhood and the conflicts around it. It perceptible due to the fact that we are conscious of a voice beyond the voices of the characters that speak in the tale. We recognize the fact that there is a voice behind all the dramatis personae, even behind the third-person narrator. This is the sense of a pervasive authorial presence that communicates through the characters a world view. Consider, for example, the tone of the following passages in Wilde's The Selfish Giant: "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." ...read more.


Later on, when the giant and children start to share the same garden, and the same feelings, the giant is described with a different connotation: "Years went over, and the Giant grew very old and feeble. He could not play about any more, so he sat in a huge armchair, and watched the children at their games, and admired his garden. "I have many beautiful flowers," he said; "but the children are the most beautiful flowers of all."" The characterization of the protagonist follows a development through, which is directly associated with the atmosphere and the setting. The changes that take place inside the giant's character and inside the garden are attached to each other. In addition, the action of The Selfish Giant takes place almost entirely in the Giant's property, inside the house and in the Garden, whose changes are directly related to the plot. The setting plays an important role in the dramatic events. The Garden is essential because it creates a feeling of verisimilitude or realism, since a garden is a known setting for kids. Besides, it's not merely a place of action, it is an acting place. ...read more.


There are several fertile words in the story, the words that suggest the most to the reader. Wilde suggests all in a few lines resulting in a single concentrated impression, as a result of it the narrative moves swiftly. In the tale, the Spring is a humanized character, and so are the Winter, the North Wind, the Hail, the Frost, and the Snow. The phenomena of nature stand for complex ideas or emotions associated with it. The Giant is a symbol too, he doesn't even have a first name, so that he represents a whole group of people sharing the same idea. In opposite to children's ideas, he could represent adults, in which connotation, denotation and symbolism combine to form a multiplicity of meanings. Also, by the naming the characters by the words of "giant", "The spring", "The Winter", and other characters which are not usual in the real world, the narrator intimates that the story is likely to have an atmosphere of a fairy tale (in this case, about the adult's world getting in contact with the children's world), as far as genre is concerned, or at least that the plot involves some magic or unnatural events, more specifically the climate, which reflects the mood of the giant himself. ...read more.

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