What lesson do we get from the lesson The Devoted Friend?
Usually the word friendship sounds very encouraging in our daily lives. Like all other feelings, it strengthens only when it is reciprocated. It ties people into a strong bond. However, friendship starts to pain one, when the feeling is not sincerely reciprocated by the other person.
The Devoted Friend is a sarcastic account of particular type of friendship. The friendship between Miller and Hans was lop-sided. Miller though claimed to be Hans best friend but he was a fair weather friend and used Hans’ innocence to gain his demands.
The lesson we get from this story is that one should not be so simple that others might walk all over him. Simplicity to the extent of foolishness can result in great loss. Sincerity and devotion should be mutual. One sided friendship only gives heart aches.
Why was Hans unable to look after his garden? What promise was the Miller constantly holding out before him?
He was unable to look after his garden because the Miller sent him on one or the other errand almost every day. He sent him to market to sell his sack of flour, or graze his cows, or some other errand. Thus Hans was not able to water his plants.
The miller had promised to give him his wheel-barrow, which was in quite a bad shape. Whenever the Miller wanted Hans to do something for him, he reminded him that since he was giving him his wheel-barrow so Hans should not refuse. Hans wanted to work in his garden but he was obliged to do whatever the Miller asked him to do. Till the death of Hans, the Miller kept on with farce.
What happened to Hans when he went to fetch the doctor?
When the Miller's son fell off, he sent Hans to fetch the doctor from the town. Little Hans asked the Miller to give him his lantern as the night was dark and stormy. But the Miller refused saying that he did not want to lose his lantern. So Hans went without it. On his way back from the town, he fell into a ditch due to darkness, and the next morning his body was found floating in the ditch. He lost his life due to his friend's selfishness.
Which act of selfishness of the Miller caused Hans to lose his life?
One dark stormy night the miller came to Hans' cottage and told him to go to the town and bring the doctor for his wounded son. Hans asked the miller to lend him his lantern to find his way through the storm, but he refused to do so because he did not want to lose his new lantern. Still Hans went on his errand. He sent the doctor but on his way back, he lost his life. This incident was the supreme act of selfishness showed by the Miller.
What justification did miller give for not sharing good things with Hans in winter?
The Miller was out and out a selfish and mean fellow. Throughout the story he just took from little Hans and never gave anything. In winter, he never visited or invited him to his house though he knew that Hans suffered from cold and hunger. The Miller justified his conduct by saying that he did not want to spoil his friend. He did not want his friend to be envious of their luxurious life. Moreover, he did not want his friend to develop the habit of asking to lend things. Furthermore, he said that he believed in the idea that when people are in trouble they should better be left alone and not bothered by visitors.