Class 8 NCERT Solutions English Chapter 3 - The Selfish Giant
The Selfish Giant Exercise 20
The Giant is called selfish because although he had a large, lovely garden when he returned from visiting his friend he did not allow the children to play in it. He shouted at them with a very gruff voice and they all ran away. He then built a high wall all around it and put up a notice board which read"TRESPASSERS WILL BE PROSECUTED".
On one occasion the children said: "How happy we are here!". This was the time when the children were playing in the giant’s garden while the giant had gone to visit his friend. It was a large lovely garden with grass, beautiful flowers, peach trees and birds singing in the trees. It was when the happy children stopped their games to listen to the birds that they said these words.On the other occasion the children said: "How happy we were there!". This refers to the time when the giant had returned from his friend's place after seven years and seeing the children playing in the garden shouted and chased them away and built a high wall around it. The children were not allowed to play there and tried playing on the dusty roads but did not like it. While wandering round the high walls and talking about the beautiful garden they sadly said these words.
(i) The winter stands for loneliness, sadness, a place without any activity, happiness or life. It also indicates that the garden was a deserted place where no one used to come. Since happiness had left with the children no birds cared to sing, the trees forgot to blossom and even the beautiful flowers felt sorry for the children and slipped back into the ground to sleep.
(ii) In the garden of the giant there was still winter. The birds did not care to sing and the trees and flowers did not bloom with no happy children around. The only people who were pleased were the Snow and the Frost. They were very happy that spring had forgotten this garden and they would now be able to live there all the year round. They invited the North Wind and Hail to visit and stay with them. The Snow covered the grass with her great white cloak and, Frost painted all the trees silver. The North Wind found the garden a delightful spot. He came wrapped in furs and he roared all day about the garden and blew the chimney pots down. Hail rattled on the roof of the castle till he broke all the slates and ran round and round the garden as fast as he could, dressed in grey with his breath like ice.
The giant was sad over the state of the garden because in his garden it was still winter. Spring and Summer never came to his garden. The Autumn gave golden fruit to every garden but to the Giant's garden she gave none.
On hearing the linnet's song, the Hail stopped dancing over his head, and the North Wind ceased roaring and a delicious perfume came to him through the open casement.
The Selfish Giant Exercise 24
(i) The most wonderful sight the Giant saw was that through a little hole in the wall the children had crept in, and they were sitting in the branches of the trees. Every tree had a child in it. The trees were so glad to have the children back again that they had covered themselves with blossoms and were waving their arms gently above the children's heads. The birds were flying about and twittering with delight and the flowers were looking up through the green grass and laughing. It was a lovely scene.
(ii) On seeing the lovely sight the giant realised how selfish he had been by not allowing the children to play in his garden and that was the only reason why the spring had not come to his garden.
In the farthest corner of the garden it was still winter because there stood a little boy who was so small that he could not reach up to branches of the tree. The poor tree was still covered with frost and snow and the North Wind was blowing and roaring above it. The tree bent its branches down as low as it could but the boy was too tiny to reach it and so he wandered all round it crying bitterly.
On seeing the little boy the Giant crept downstairs and opened the front door softly and went out into the garden. When the children saw him, they were so frightened that they all ran away, and the garden became winter again. Only the little boy did not run, for his eyes were so full of tears that he did not see the Giant coming. The Giant stole up behind him and took him gently in his hands and put him up into the tree. The tree broke at once into blossom, and the birds came and sang on it. The little boy stretched out his two arms and flung them round the Giant's neck and kissed him.
After a long interval one morning when the Giant looked out of his window he saw a marvelous sight. The little boy he loved was standing under the tree at the farthest corner. The tree itself was covered with lovely white blossoms, its branches were golden, and silver fruit hung down from them. He ran downstairs in great joy. He hastened across the grass, and came near the child. When he came close his face grew red with anger, and asked who had dared to wound him as on the palms of the child's hands were the prints of two nails and the prints of two nails were on the little feet. He begged of the child to tell him who had wounded him so that he could take his big sword and slay him. The child told him they were the wounds of Love. A strange awe fell over the giant and he knelt before the child. The child smiled and said that once the Giant had allowed him to play in his garden and so that day he would go with him to his garden which was paradise. In the afternoon when the children came they found the Giant lying dead under the tree covered with white blossoms.
The sentence indicates that the once selfish giant was blessed by the little boy who was Jesus Christ. He was happy that the giant was no longer selfish and so had returned to reward him and take the kind, old feeble giant back with him to his garden which was paradise.