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The Selfish Giant (Story 11) Exercises

 The Selfish Giant


Understanding the text

Answer the following questions.

a. Where did the children use to play?
Answer: The children used to play in the Giant's garden which was so beautiful and lovely.

b. What did the Snow and the Frost do to the garden?

Answer: The Snow covered up the grass with the great white cloak and the Frost painted all the trees silver. Then, they invited the North Wind to stay with them.

c. What did the giant hear when he was lying awake in bed?

Answer: The giant heard some lovely music. It sounded so sweet when he was lying awake in bed.

d. Why do you think spring season never came to the giant's garden?
Answer: I think spring season never came to the giant's garden because he didn't permit the children to play and enjoy in his garden.

e. How did the giant realise his mistake?
Answer: The Giant realised his mistake by finding out the unusual changes in his garden. He learnt that without the presence of the children the garden couldn’t be lovely and the garden didn’t get the chance to experience the spring season.

Reference to the context

A.  Read the extracts given below and answer the questions that follow:

a.  “How happy we were there!” they said to each other.

i. Where does ‘there’ refer to?

Answer: 'There' refers to the Giant’s garden.

ii. What does ‘they’ refer to?

Answer: 'They' refers to the children.

iii. Why are they saying so?

Answer: They are saying so because the Giant doesn't let them play in his garden where they used to play happily after school.

b. “I have many beautiful flowers,” he said; “but the children are the most beautiful flowers of all.”

i. Who is the speaker?

Answer: The Giant is the speaker.

ii. Who is he speaking to?

Answer: He is speaking to himself praising his garden.

iii. Who are ‘the children’ that the speaker is referring to?

Answer: The children that the speaker is referring to the small and innocent children who play in the Giant’s garden after school.

iv. Why is the speaker saying that ‘the children are the most beautiful flowers of all’?

Answer: The speaker is saying that 'the children are the most beautiful flowers of all’ because children or flowers are the source of happiness. The giant has experienced the appearance of beauty in the presence of children. 

c. When the little child smiled at the Giant, and said to him, "You let me play once in your garden, today you shall come with me to my garden, which is Paradise," shortly afterwards, the happy giant dies. What is the coincidence of this event? Describe it in relation to this fairy tale.

Answer: In the next time, when the Giant is very old and feeble, he can’t play with the children any more. The child appears there to favour the giant. At this time the giant is sitting in his armchair and watching the children who are playing. One winter morning, the little child whom he once helped to climb the tree appeared and offered him never ending and peaceful life in his garden i.e. heaven. At the same time, the Giant died. Thus, the occurrence of the child’s offer of eternal life in heaven and the death of the Giant is the coincidence.

B. The story makes use of personification as one of the main figures of speech. Cite three examples of personification from the story. What is the significance of the seasons personified in the story?

Answer: In the story ‘The Selfish Giant’ the writer has used personification as one of the main figures of speech which gives human qualities to the non-human objects. The three examples of personification are the Snow, the North Wind and the Frost. The significance of seasons personified in the story has made non-human entities more vivid or helped the readers understand and sympathize with or react emotionally to them.

C. This story can be read as a fairytale, where the children, the seasons, the tree, the corner of the garden, the snow, the wind and the frost are all used as symbolism. Interpret those symbols.

Answer:  The story ‘The Selfish Giant’ can be read as a fairy tale. The writer of the story has used the feature of symbolism to teach the readers a moral lesson. From the story we can get the idea like ‘the children’ symbolize innocence and love. Likewise, seasons symbolize hope, life and death. The tree is the symbol of patience whereas the corner of the garden stands for the heaven. The snow, the wind, and the frost signify grief, sorrow and pain.

D. Which figure of speech is used for ‘winter, frost, snow, north wind, hail and little child’? Who is the little child compared to?

Answer:  As a fairy tale, the story is full of figures of speech. Mainly two different types of figures of speech are used. They are personification and symbolism are used for winter, frost, snow, north wind and hail. Winter is the symbol of pain and suffering whereas spring is the symbol of happiness. The little child is represented as the Christian symbol. He is compared to Jesus Christ.

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