The Happy Prince
Question 1: Why do the courtiers call the prince ‘the Happy Prince’? Is he really happy? What does he see all around him?
Answer: The courtiers are mentally conditioned in certain ways. This can be compared with the way sycophants behave with political heavyweights. They are conditioned to say pleasant things to their masters. The prince was brought up in a protected environment where he lost touch with ground realities of life. He never enjoyed the normal pleasures of childhood. So he may be having all the comforts money can buy but not the true happiness. Now even after death he sees so much misery and depravity all around. This makes him further sad.
Question 2: Why does the Happy Prince send a ruby for the seamstress? What does the swallow do in the seamstress’ house?
Answer: The Happy Prince sends ruby so that the seamstress can get good amount of money after selling it. With money she can buy medicines for her child. She can be in a position to pay more attention to her child. At present her economic needs don’t permit her to pay proper attention to her child.
The swallow flutters her wings over the sick boy’s head so that he would feel easy. Feeling the relief from high temperature the boy falls asleep.
Question 3: For whom does the prince send the sapphires and why?
Answer: The young play-writer needs money to buy firewood which will keep him warm. The little girl needs money to buy matchsticks. The Happy Prince wants to help as many people as he could. Lifting people’s misery makes him happier. To help the playwriter and the little girl the Happy Prince sends sapphire.
4. What does the swallow see when it flies over the city?
Answer: When the swallow flies over the city it sees the stark contrast of plenty and poverty. It sees rich men making merry oblivious to the plight of the poor down the lane. It sees the nadir of condition of poor when they are denied even a sound sleep by police patrolling the street.
Question 5: Why did the swallow not leave the prince and go to Egypt?
Answer: While helping people the Prince loses his eyes and becomes blind. The swallow seems to be touched by Prince’s sacrifice. Moreover it is also touched by poor’s plight. It thinks of helping poor with the help of the prince. So the swallow decides to stay with the prince.
Question 6: What are the precious things mentioned in the story? Why are they precious?
Answer: The precious thing mentioned in the story is the misery of people. This is precious because it gives you chance to help out people. It helps you to share your riches and happiness to others. It gives you an opportunity to do charity.