oscar wilde

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Name: Uchit Singh

In an essay of 4-5 pages discuss how Oscar Wilde’s uses his stereotypes and concepts from traditional fairy tales and inverts them in his short stories.

Oscar Wilde’s fairy tales were written in Victorian times and reflects the era of Victorian regime in his stories. The appearance is shown the most important thing and conflict between rich and poor with people having no civil responsibilities at all are often seen in Wilde’s stories. A fairy tale is more like a wonder tale, involving many artificial things and elements, although it is not necessarily about fairies. Traditional fairy tales often have the same beginning and ending including good and evil or positive and negative. Heroes are often described as brave, courageous and handsome where as heroines are likely to be described as beautiful. The evil characters are wicked animals, giants or characters that are supposed to act foolish, rather stupid in the story. Whoever the characters were, they were supposed to be known by their outfit or descriptions. The common features included were fighting evil, rescuing, selfish and proud characters. Most of the fairy tales opened with a happy start, a twist later on and ended with meeting of two peoples or indicated with ‘happy life ever after’.

        Oscar Wilde’s tales contain many of traditional elements of popular fairy tales. His tales have characters representing both good and bad characters, characters that are either good or selfish and greedy. For example, in the “The Nightingale and the Rose” the image of the girl who the student loves is selfish as she didn’t care about true love but only the jewellery she could have if she were to love a rich man. Oscar Wilde’s characters are easily known by the character’s outfit and descriptions. Like in “The Selfish Giant”, the giant is directly unveiled that he is a bad selfish giant and greedy who doesn’t want to share his garden with others but keep it to himself. Also like in other fairy tales Wilde’s character, for example God aren’t described by the character but with the situation, just like in Wilde’s “The Selfish Giant” it’s not revealed that the small boy is angel but later on unveiled to audience with a quote where boy says “You let me play once in your garden…..but…with my garden, which is paradise”. With the giant found dead lying under the tree, Audience can accommodate that the boy was supposed to be God. In Wilde’s fairy tale stories, the theme of animal representing for good side and monsters are often used as the embodiment of the evil. Wilde’s use of other colloquial things to the traditional fairy tales are the Kings acting as villain being foolishly proud with their castles with it’s funny name as shown in “The Happy Prince”, the Prince in one conversation reveals that he was the Prince of ‘Sans – Souci’ which means ‘without care’.

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        One of Wilde’s most popular fairy tales is “The Happy Prince” where Wilde tackles all the issues of poverty, privilege and a society divided in rich and poor. Wilde describes the prince as the statue based on the country’s highest place from where he can see all the miseries and sufferings of the people. Wilde also talks about Prince past when he was alive and was the Prince living in castle “I did not know what the tears were, for I lived in the palace of Sans – Souci, where the sorrow is not allowed to enter” suggesting that ...

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