WILDETRIP: The Selfish Giant

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Take a WILDETRIP to an extraordinary secret garden deep in the countryside of Fermanagh and listen to one of Wilde's most captivating short stories followed by afternoon tea and a guided stroll through the garden. The Selfish Giant has a beautiful garden, but he won't let any of the children play in it. Winter comes and never leaves, until the power of love brings Spring and joy into the Giant's garden and his heart...

In The Selfish Giant by Oscar Wilde we have the theme of humility, salvation, compassion, kindness, arrogance, loneliness, love and pain. Taken from his The Complete Short Stories collection the story is narrated in the third person by an unnamed narrator and after reading the story the reader realises that Wilde may be exploring the theme of humility. Though the Giant may be considered to be selfish at the start of the story; for removing the children from his garden. His joy at seeing the little boy playing transforms him. The Giant shifts from being selfish to being humble. He can see that his garden is providing joy to the little boy. As much joy to the boy as the Giant gets from his garden. It is also interesting that Wilde compares the little boy to Christ as by doing so it is possible that Wilde is suggesting that the Giant will receive salvation just as the little boy (or Christ) did. This is not the first time that Wilde has introduced a biblical theme into a story. In The Happy Prince both the Prince and the Swallow receive salvation and enter Heaven seated next to God. There is also a sense that the Giant in his own way loves the little boy such is the joy that the Giant gets from seeing the boy play in the garden.

(Bus departs Enniskillen Castle Museum)

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