THE HAPPY PRINCE BY OSCAR WILDE
Oscar Wilde is a great short story writer of
England. By the sharpness of his intellect he presented himself as a writer of enduring merit. He becomes very famous for his witty and
brilliant conversation. He was the follower of Pater. He accepted Pater's doctrine. He blended his own cynicism with it. Aesthetic movement and decadence are the terms associated with his creed. Thus he is called a decadent writer.
As a story writer Wilde has cultivated high artifice in style and bizarre in subject matter. He prefers elaborate dress over the normal. He challenges the accepted social, moral and artistic norms. The appeal of his writings is intellectual. His chief aim is to jolt his readers out of complacency. He has a polished style. His breath is scintillating. We find charming fancies and quaint humour in his stories.
The Happy Prince is one of the finest short stories by Oscar Wilde. Here he criticises the insensitivity, selfishness and shallow thinking of men. According to him worldly pleasures can give only temporary happiness. The happy prince realised the futility of the belief after his death. Good actions, charity and compassion bring enduring peace and happiness. Those who try to reduce the misery of others are truly religious. God loves those who love others. This is the main theme of The Happy Prince.
The moral of this story is very significant. Through this story Oscar Wilde tries to show that worldly glory and riches do not bring happiness and peace of mind. For that good works and pious deeds are essential things. This story tells us that men should try to help the poor and the needy.
The title of this story is apt. It is justified and highly appropriate. Generally a rich and powerful person is considered happy. But here the story writer shows that real happiness lies in good deeds and novel actions. After the death the protagonist comes to know the reality. Actually he becomes happy after death. Thus the title Happy prince is appropriate.
In short, Happy Prince is a very fine and very moving short story. Here the author has shown his genius. The style of this story is marked by dialogues and similes.