Comparison to derive opinion from one author works

Muhammad Dioz (Harry) 1510731001
Gindho Rizano, S.S., M.Hum
Final Exam for Prose
December 2016


Children Role in Children’s Story


It is usual that children in every corner of this earth afraid of ghost or giant but Oscar Wilde in his two short stories, “The Canterville Ghost” and “The Selfish Giant” tell that children don’t need to be afraid of them but to help them. Oscar Wilde from the Wikipedia is known as an Irish playwright, novelist, essayist, and poet. I found similarities in the both stories Oscar Wilde use the Character in his story, children character who will bring happiness as the story goes to the antagonist.

Oscar Wilde in both stories even the stories are different but how Oscar put the character, children change the antagonist’s life and personality. In “The Canterville Ghost” is Virginia, Mr. and Mrs. Otis daughter and in “The Selfish Giant” a little boy. But in academic world I cannot just state something without give evidences to support my statement, so let’s dive deeper into the stories.

First, is “The Canterville Ghost” tells us about an American family that wants to move to England and buy the Canterville Chase, but the owner Lord Canterville reminds the family that the house is haunted, but the family doesn’t believe Lord Canterville they even want to buy the house along with the ghost, and finally Lord Canterville sold the house to the family. They are Mr. and Mrs. with their children three boys and a daughter. Then the story goes, as the family are having tea in the library room, Mrs. Otis finds a red stain on the floor and she doesn’t want her floor is covered with it, it is the blood of Lady Eleanore de Canterville who was murdered by her husband Sir Simon de Canterville so she removes it with her American stain remover then the stain gone. As the stain gone lightning flashed thunder crashed over the house Mrs. Umney the housekeeper says that the ghost will be angry and haunt the family but then family doesn’t concern with it.

The next morning the stain appears again, it makes Mr. Otis wants to find the ghost and finally he meets the ghost in the middle of the night. The ghost was and old man with burning red eyes. He had long grey hair and wore old fashioned clothes. There are chains on his hands and feet. He is rubbing the chains together so they make a noise. “My dear sir, your chains make a terrible noise,” Mr Otis says to the ghost. “You must put some oil on those chains. Here is some Tammany Rising Sun Oil from the United States. Please put the oil on your chains.”

Mr. Otis is not afraid to the ghost this really surprised the ghost and makes him feel unhappy he haunted the house for over three hundred years and everyone are afraid to him but not with Mr. Otis even all the family members. He tries to frighten the boys but none of them frightened the twins even prank him. This really frustrating to him, he lost his pride as a ghost.

All the family did not afraid of the ghost because they are American and they behaviours show Materialism, but this is not the context of my essay so will not discuss further about it. When all the family “bully” the ghost Virginia the daughter feels sorry for him she even stands for the ghost when the twins pranked him “Can't you leave the poor ghost alone?” she said. “Why do you want to hurt him? Why do you want to play tricks on him? He has lived here for a very long time. Leave him alone.” Now the evidence of my statement begins to appear. Virginia cares about the ghost when the ghost really frustrated by other family members she tries to help him. “I feel very sorry for you,” says Virginia quietly. “I'm sorry that my brothers were not very kind to you. But you did try to frighten them.” Virginia tells that the family was mean to him because he tries to frighten them. Here we can see that Virginia is a wise child she brings up the fact that people will not hurt you if you won’t hurt them, if you do bad things something bad will happen to you and so on.

Seeing Virginia as a wise little girl the ghost want to stop frighten people and he wants to rest in peace but he needs Victoria’s help to make it happen and Virginia wants to help the ghost too. Virginia has to accompany him to the Dark and she not afraid to do so “I am not afraid,” says Virginia at last. “I will come with you into the dark.” When Virginia in the Dark with the ghost all family is looking for her thinking her is missing but then she comeback safely to the house, she helps the ghost who turns out as Sir Simon de Canterville she guides the family to a secret room in the house “This is the body of Sir Simon de Canterville,” says Virginia. “He murdered his wife in 1575. Then his wife's brothers shut him in this room. He was given no food. Sir Simon starved to death. His ghost was in this house for three hundred years. But now he has found peace.” Then few days later the family hold a funeral and pray for him. Virginia helps a poor guy to finally find his peace she changes him from a ghost to a dead man. This half proven my statement about the similarity of both stories because I still discuss about one story now I will discuss the second story.

“The Selfish Giant” as the second story in this essay tells us a story about children who love playing in a Giant’s garden. They love playing there because it is a large, lovely garden, with soft green grass. Here and there over the grass stands beautiful flowers like stars, and there are twelve peach-trees that in the spring-time breaks out into delicate blossoms of pink and pearl, and in the autumn bear rich fruit. The birds sit on the trees and sing so sweetly that the children use to stop their games in order to listen to them. “How happy we are here!” they cry to each other. Yes they can play there because the Giant isn’t around but all their happy time gone as the Giant comes back from his friend place, he stayed there for seven years but he is back now “What are you doing there?” he cries in a very gruff voice, and the children run away. “My own garden is my own garden,” said the Giant “anyone can understand that, and I will allow nobody to play in it but myself.” So he build a high wall all around it, and put up a notice-board.

TRESPASSERS WILL BE PROSECUTED

He was a very selfish Giant. Now the children have nowhere to play and the spring comes but as the children isn’t playing there anymore the birds don’t care to sing in the Giant’s garden anymore, the flowers don’t care to blossom anymore as soon as they see the notice board they fell really sorry to the children that used to be happy playing around the garden. So it makes the Giant’s garden stays in winter. Snow covers all the grass with her white cloak and the Frost painted all the trees. They invite North Wind and Hail as they keep staying longer than usual the Giant starts wonder why this happen. But all of them still there until one morning he wakes up from his sleep he hears lovely music. He seems really like the music and thinks that there is King’s musicians playing. It is only a little linnet singing outside his window, but it was so long since he had heard a bird sing in his garden that it seemed to him to be the most beautiful music in the world. So he jumps from his bed and sees something wonderful. Through a little whole in the wall the children have crept in and they sit on the branches of the trees. The trees really happy because the children playing with him again. The birds also happy and twittering with delight because the children back again. The flowers and the grass join them in joyful mood. Only one corner still covers with snow there is a little boy who can’t climb the tree even the tree bents it branches down, he is too small. This sight melts the Giant’s heart it is like a wakeup call to him and realises that he have been selfish. He realises why the spring won’t come to his garden. Then he want help the little boy to climb the tree and promise his self to knock down the wall and let the children play on his garden. He is really sorry for what he has done. He comes out and help the little boy. In the beginning the children run away from him but as soon as they see that the Giant is not wicked anymore they approach to him again. “It is your garden now, little children,” says the Giant, and he takes a great axe and knocks down the wall. And when the people are going to market at twelve o’clock they find the Giant playing with the children in the most beautiful garden they has ever seen.

The Giant isn’t selfish anymore now he has the most beautiful garden and children which he refers that the children they self as the most beautiful flowers of all “I have many beautiful flowers,” he says “but the children are the most beautiful flowers of all.” But he can’t find the little boy that he has helped. At the end of his life he finally meet the little boy again and die in happiness.

As we can see from the story the little boy changes the Giant, the little boy makes the Giant realise that he have to change he can’t being selfish anymore, he must let the children play on his garden. It turns out after his change his life full of happiness and flowers which the most beautiful flower he said is the children itself. Now this story has proven my statement completely. Both story tells us different things, but as I see how the role of the children character in the story I can derive a conclusion, the theme of both stories is if you kind to people good things will come to you but if you mean to people bad things will come to you. The pattern of both stories for me goes like this, antagonist doesn’t like someone new in his place so he try to make them stay away from their place but as they doing so, bad things happen to them then the character in the story, children or a child changes them and makes them put off their antagonist title to protagonist and die in happiness.

From all the things that I have discussed and explained above I can once again state that Oscar Wilde from both of his short stories “The Canterville Ghost” and “The Selfish Giant” tell that a character, children character brings happiness to the antagonist character in the story.


Works cited

 Wilde, Oscar. 1887. The Canterville Ghost.

 Wilde, Oscar. 1888. The Selfish Giant.

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