GENTLE GIANT of the literary world | Daily News
Oscar Wilde:

GENTLE GIANT of the literary world

Bertrand Russel, Philosopher and writer says “English in this modern world would lose its lustre, without the writings of Oscar Wilde”. Oscar Wilde was born in 1840 and died in 1900. His works raised eyes brows in the literary and religious worlds of the day. However, he became a golden link in making readers to bow their heads and also to look up in awe to understand the weaknesses of man.

Oscar Wilde was an Irishman. He could be called the pillar in the renaissance of literary Fantasy in English writing. He was a believer in aestheticism. He was flamboyantly attired and was called the man with red carnation. He was Bandusoma. His absolute affinity to lovely features is graphically shows in his story let about Naraissus, a character in Greek mythology who falls in love with his own face. Narcissus would walk up to the river and gaze at his face reflected in the still waters of the river. Narcissus used to caress the flowers on the path to the river. The flowers loved his touch. Narcissus dies. The flowers mourn. The river too is in tears. ‘Why you? ‘ask the flowers. ‘He only started at you.” ‘Never touched you.’ ‘yes’ says the river. He never touched me, But, when he bent down to see his beautiful face reflected on me... into his lovely eyes. Then I saw my own reflection inside his blue eyes. Now I will never be able to see myself”.

His writings made many to understand the meaning of a human being’s feelings to be made known to the world through the characters and the in-depth yearning of the author to air his feelings. His works are for all time.

Unfortunately the literary world and the church frowned on his ‘De Profondis’ and ‘Salome where the danced”. The church excommunicated him. Later a forgiving church brought him back to the Catholic church, not as Oscar Wilde. He was re-baptized as Sebastian Melmoth, and lived in the USA and England.

Amidst all his eye brow raising stories the literary world is unable to understand how he was going to present to us the immortal story of the ‘Selfish Giant’. The story makes us to shed a tear in his name. What was he trying to tell the world?

He was sentenced to two years imprisonment with hard labour. His writings were taken off the library bookshelves. The then administration and many so called intellectuals spat on him. He was a homosexual.

Finally he wrote the ‘Selfish Giant’. We are unable to understand how an author who shook the world with his stories and unnatural behaviour could ............

Chinua Achebe the African author of ‘When Things Fall Apart’, says that the selfish Giant is the most poignant exposure of ones hidden desires and the unthinkable remorse which ends in the author to turn to the faith he believed in. Oscar wilde longs for love where things fail apart. Oscar wild becomes the giant. The wall round the castle becomes his defence – legal and intellectual, when his conscience makes him to yearn to be loved and to be accepted by those who understand the meaning of love, repentance, forgiveness and faith.

The broken wall is his conscience. His accusers become the selfish giant. Encroachers into his garden, conscience abandoned by natures gifts. He is alone. He finds joy in seeing the little children. His other accusers are shown as the winter and frost. The crack in the well is a part of a love seeking conscience. The little children are the bundles of joy.

Oscar Wilde shows to his adversaries that he is accepted by the Prince of Peace when the little boy on the frost coated tree shows him the nail marks of love.

Oscar Wilde’s selfish giant gives us a tear jerking glimpse of his literary skills what and abruptly due to his life style.

This was in 1900. Today we see governments giving the green light for some sex marriages. Homosexuality is now taken for granted. We look down on this unnatural trait that made God to punish Sodom and Gomorrah according to the Holy Bible. Oscar wilde was jailed in accordance with the laws of the land. His untimely death makes the literary world to shed a tear. Yes, what more stories would have wafted on the world of story writing had he not succumbed into this unnatural habit causing the law and the church to punish him.

The ‘Selfish Giant’ say some modern writers could be compared to D H Lawrence’s poem’ ‘The Snake’ Lawrence, who rocked the world by his book ‘Lady Chatterley’s Lover’ which caused publishes to print “expurgated” and “unexpurgated” editions of the book in conquered by is conscience.

In his poem, the “Snake”, the author and a snake are near a well. Both are thirsty. A vicious snake. “Kill it” says his education. “No” says his conscience. Next, both quench their thirst and go their ways. Happily, conscience makes Lawrence happy. Oscar Wilde, The gentle giant who presented to us many gems in the form stories would have longed to be on a bier covered by a shower of flowers like how the ....... Giant was found by the children. The selfish Giant becomes the unselfish Giant because of his conscience.

Blessed are those who have read these two masterpieces because they make is to delve on our own past, present and maybe the future path of our conscience. 


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