“The Happy Prince” is a fairy tale Oscar Wilde wrote for his two sons but its educational and humane value go far beyond the fairy world of children. The story develops children’s compassion and sympathy for the poor and makes adults look back on their attitude toward the unfortunate people around them. All the good actions of the Happy Prince are so worthy and touching that he deserves our respect and admiration. The Happy Prince’s actions of helping the poor are worthy of respect. Without the ruby from his sword hilt, the seamstress’s son may die of fever.
His immediate and valuable action also helps the playwright out with a sapphire to buy food and firewood and escape from hunger and coldness. Again, the Happy Prince prevents the poor little match seller from being beaten by giving her the remaining sapphire. He is not hesitant to strip himself of all fine gold leaves to help the homeless children. Although the Happy Prince is a beautiful statue, a splendid work of art, he accepts his dull and grey appearance to help the needy to have a happy and sufficient life. His actions deserve being appreciated and praised.
From the viewpoint of a Christian, I consider his worthy actions as a redemption. In the past, when he was alive, he was a selfish prince who only sought for and enjoyed pleasure. He shut himself in his palace away from those who really need his help. Living in the upper class, he never looked down at the lower class to see what life they led, what trouble they were in, what kinds of dreams they desired for and what misery they were suffering. Now after his death, when people erect him high above on the tall column, he has a chance to see the pain, sorrow, misery, poverty, ugliness and suffering of the poor and the needy around him.
His lead heart is filled with love, pity and compassion. But it is too late. How can he help others while he can not move and has no power? Contrary to the past, although he was a young and powerful prince and easily used his authority to help the poor, he never cared for them who just lived outside his palace. Now, he is a statue and he has no way to help the poor but gradually takes off the precious jewels and sacrifices his beautiful appearance. All his actions are the worthy cost he must pay for the selfishness and the neglected duty of caring for the poor. As a redemption, all his actions are worthy to correct is bad behaviors and compensates for his wrong deeds. All the Happy Prince’s actions are worthy because they help change the swallow’s thinking who used to be self – centered and inconsiderate like the prince. At first, he did not intend to help the prince to distribute his precious jewels to the poor and was eager to fly to Egypt. However, it is the Happy Prince’s action that makes him moving and sympathetic to the compassionate prince as well as the needy. Moreover, the Happy Prince’s actions help him form a profound friendship with the swallow and together they make a difference in the lives of the unfortunate.
The swallow delays his migration and stays over winter with the blind prince and even sacrifices his life in the icy winter. The Happy Prince’s actions are so worthy that they change the swallow’s thinking completely: from a adventure – loving swallow, he is now a faithful friend, a willing messenger who helps bring happiness to the poor. The Happy Prince does all the things he can do to help the poor, which in turn helps him find real happiness. His worthy actions make him realize what is real happiness and he is willing to share this real happiness with the poor even when he must sacrifice all the valuable possessions.
His worthy actions bring back to him a position in the Heaven. That is a reward in return for what he did. The story ends and leaves behind a feeling of happiness and satisfaction. Although the Happy Prince is no longer a beautiful work of art but a grey and dull statue, he is now enjoying real happiness in return for his worthy actions in the Heaven. The image of a motionless statue helping the poor again urges us – human beings – to do something to help the poor community around us.