Two Works by Oscar Wilde

I enjoyed the Importance of Being Earnest as much because now I don’t feel left out whenever I encounter a cultural reference to it as because it’s funny. It’s a story of deception, mistaken identity and revelation told in the form of a play. Now I really want to see the movie, starring Colin Firth, Reese Witherspoon and Judi Dench!

I did not enjoy The Happy Prince and Other Tales. The stories are morbid and depressing as well as extremely moralistic (spoilers below).

The Happy Prince and Other Tales

The Happy Prince
A bird helps a beautiful statue donate bits of himself to needy people in his city until the bird dies and the statue is so ugly it gets torn down.

The Nightingale and the Rose
A bird kills itself to change a white rose into a red rose for an ungrateful boy who gives it to an ungrateful girl.

The Selfish Giant
A giant tells some kids they can’t play in his garden. It then stays winter there until they sneak back in. The giant realizes his mistake and helps one particular boy climb a tree. When he is old, the boy he helped returns to him and shows him the wounds that Jesus suffered on the cross and takes the giant to God’s big garden in the sky.

The Devoted Friend
A bird tells a story in which a boy named Hans lets a neighbor take advantage of his generosity over and over again throughout their lives until Hans dies.

The Remarkable Rocket
Among the talking fireworks, the rocket is the most arrogant. At an important celebration, the rocket fails to light and is discarded. The rocket continues to behave arrogantly to everyone he meets. When the rocket is finally let off, nobody sees the explosion.

When and why I read them

I needed to choose what to download free from Gutenberg to read on my Kindle while on a trip to Bangkok, and I decided to read these works because last year I enjoyed reading The Picture of Dorian Gray and because from encounters with various quotes by Oscar Wilde around the internet I get the sense that he’s an interesting and clever guy.

Genre: drama (comedy)
Date started / date finished: 04-Mar-16 to 05-Mar-16
Length: 52 pages
Originally published in: 1890
Amazon link: The Importance of Being Earnest
Gutenberg link: The Importance of Being Earnest

Genre: fiction (children’s literature and classics)
Date started / date finished:  05-Mar-16 to 05-Mar-16
Length: 40 pages
Originally published in: 1888
Amazon link: The Happy Prince and Other Stories
Gutenberg link: The Happy Prince and Other Tales

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