The selfish giant
Comprehension Check (Page 20)
- Why is the Giant called selfish?
- On one occasion the children said: “How happy we are here!”
Later they said: “How happy we were there!”
What are they referring to in both the cases?
- (i) When spring came, it was still winter in the garden. What does winter stand for or indicate here?
(ii) Winter has been presented like a story with its own characters and their activities.
Describe the story in your own words.
- Was the Giant happy or sad over the state of the garden?
- What effect did the linnet’s song have over Hail and the North Wind?
- The Giant was called selfish because he wanted to keep his garden reserved only for himself. He banned the entry of outsiders there.
- In both the cases the children are referring to the Giant’s garden. In the first sentence they say that they are enjoying in the giant’s garden. But in the second sentence it is beyond their reach.
- (i) Winter indicates that flowers did not bloom in the Giant’s garden. The birds
didn’t sing. There was no sign of joy and greenery.
(ii) Winter has been portrayed as destroyer. It has its own characters. Snow and frost are the most prominent factors. Trees have been covered with white cloak. The trees look lifeless. North wind has come to stay there permanently. Hails settle on the roof.
- The Giant felt sad to see the state of his garden. Different seasons brought no change in it.
- As an effect of the linnet’s song the Hail stopped dancing over his head. Similarly the North Wind ceased roaring.
Comprehension Check (Page 24)
- (i) The Giant saw a most wonderful sight. What did he see?
(ii) What did he realise on seeing it?
- Why was it still winter in one comer of the garden?
- Describe the first meeting of the little boy and the Giant.
- Describe their second meeting after a long interval.
- The Giant lay dead, all covered with white blossoms. What does this sentence indicate about the once selfish Giant?
- (i) The Giant saw that through a little hole in the wall the children had entered
into the garden. They were sitting in the branches of the trees. In every tree that he could see there was a little child. And the trees were glad to have the children back again that they had covered themselves with blossoms and were waning their hands gently above the child run’s heads. The birds were flying and twittering with delight, and flowers were laughing.
(ii) He realised that he himself was to blame for the year round winter in his garden. He called himself selfish.
- Only in one comer of the garden there was winter still. The reason was that a little boy could not climb the tree like other boys. He stood under a tree weeping.
- In the first meeting of the boy and the Giant, the Giant lifted him gently and put him in the branch of that tree. The tree suddenly broke into flowers and the birds began to sing. The child kissed the Giant.
- In the second meeting after so many years, the Giant saw wounds on the little boy’s palm and feet. He became furious. He wanted to kill the man who had wounded the child. But the boy said that those were wounds of love.
- This indicates that the Giant had been blessed by Lord Christ himself. He was neither cruel nor selfish So Christ forgave him and took him to paradise.
Exercise (Page 24)
Discuss the following topics in groups.
The little child’s hands arid feet had marks of nails. Who does the child remind you of? Give a reason for your answer.
The nail’s marks on the child’s hands and feet remind us of Lord Christ. He was put on a cross and nails were hammered into his palms and feet.
Is there something like this garden near where you live? Would you like one (without the Giant perhaps) and why? What would you do to keep it in good shape?
A park is a public place. It is like the lungs in human body. It gives us fresh air. The greenery is soothing to the eyes. A private garden, however, has to be used by the people with care and caution. The children must not spoil the flower beds and the grassy lawns even in a public park. I would never play football in a park nor let other children do so.
MORE QUESTIONS SOLVED
I.SHORT ANSWER TYPE QUESTIONS
Describe in brief the Giant’s garden.
The Giant’s garden was very beautiful. It had soft green grass. Here and there over the grass stood beautiful flowers like stars and there were twelve peach trees that in the spring time broke out into delicate blossoms of pink and pearl, and in autumn bore rich fruit.
Where had the Giant gone? What did he see when he arrived?
The Giant had gone to his friend, the Cornish Ogre and had stayed with him for seven years. When he arrived he saw the children playing in the garden.
Why did he build a high wall round his garden?
He didn’t want children to play in his garden. Therefore, he built a high wall round it in order to stop them from entering it.
What happened to the Giant’s garden when the spring came?
All over the country there were little blossoms and little words. But the Giant’s garden remained deprived of them. There was still winter there instead of the spring. The birds didn’t care to sing in it, as there were no children and the trees forgot to blossom.
What changes came to be noticed in the Giant’s behaviour?
Previously he was a selfish Giant. He didn’t like children and their playing in his garden. But one day he realised his fault and became affectionate towards them. He opened his garden for them. He began to play with them.
II.LONG ANSWER TYPE QUESTIONS
Who did the Giant love most? Why?
The Giant loved the little boy most because he had kissed him. He felt helpless and began to cry. The Giant saw him. His heart melted all of a sudden. He came to the little boy and put him into the tree. The tree broke at once into blossom and the birds came and sang on it.
The little boy became happy. He stretched out his two arms and flung them round the Giant’s neck, and kissed him. The Giant’s joy knew no bounds. He (the Giant) made the little boy his friend.
What evidence do you find in the story about the Giant’s selfishness and wicked nature? Did he stick to this? How do you know?
The Giant was self centred and wicked. He wanted his garden only for his own use. He forbade the entry of children there. He put up a notice board that who soever entered the garden without his permission would be punished. He also got a high wall constructed all around it.
Children were horrified to see this. They flew away from the garden. It shows the giant’s selfishness and wicked nature. But he didn’t stick to this. He became soft towards the children. He broke the wall that he had constructed around his garden and allowed the children to play there. He regarded the children as the most beautiful flowers of all.