Reading-Text Seven, Oscar Wilde
Exposition of the Ugly Side of Human Nature
Oscar Wilde keeps prominent place in the realm of literature, which pinpoints the dark side of human behaviour. He ranks those Victorian Literary Giants, who exposed the shams and follies of English society in the most painful, sharp and bitter manner. In this story, describing the two contrary characters of friendship, he uses quite different and unique setting and situation.
Friendship, Mostly Proven One Sided
The story is narrated by a green Linnet who is speaking on the topic of friendship. Before beginning this story, he asks water rat what friendship is? Water rat replies that it is always one sided. One who expects from his friend for the same devotion and sincerity, what he shows then he is bound to suffer. The green Linnet began to tell the story to illustrate its point of view.
Friendship, A Passion, A Feeling of Devotion or Mere Clap Trap or Hoax or Either Hypocrisy
The story depicts the miserable state of a poor man named “Hans”. He was an honest and sincere fellow. He had many friends, but “Hugh” the miller was the closest one. He lived in a small hut and had a small garden in which all sorts of flowers had grown. He worked very hard and so the garden was always full of flowers. The garden was the only source of earning for Hans. The miller, who was economically very sound, believed that real friends should have everything in common. He therefore used to pluck the flowers and fruits whenever he passed by the garden of his friend. Contrary to this, for his own assets, he believed flour is one thing and friendship is another.
The Miller a Fair Weather Friend, knows how to Take
Hugh remained his friend during spring, summer and autumn but in winter, he felt bad when there was no flower or fruit in the garden of Hans. Miller knew that during these seasons, his friend was even starving, but he did not pay any visit to his poverty stricken friend. He justified his attitude by declaring ‘When people are in trouble, they should be left alone and not be bothered by visitors.’ As the winter was over, again he proved to be a fair weather friend. He went to Hans along with his big basket for flowers. At every process, it seems that the miller always dealt him with selfish motive. The miller showed his generosity by promising that he would give him his wheelbarrow. He told Hans that it was utterly out of order. Hans replied that he had a plank of wood and so he would be able to repair the wheelbarrow. Hearing this, a new ambitious idea struck the mind of the miller. He thought of repairing of the roof his barn with a plank of wood from Hans. He got the plank of wood from his innocent friend. He asserted his claim that he must get the plank of wood for he was going to give him his wheelbarrow. Besides, he handed over a big empty basket to fill it with fresh flowers.
Poor Hans Pays the Price of His Deep Sense of Sacrifice, which Confirms the dictum “Innocence has to Suffer”
The miller keeps on exploiting his simple and innocent friend’s passion of devotion. He takes tiresome work from Hans to carry the sack of flour to the market. Hans is compelled to give up every act of his earning of livelihood for the sake of so-called friendship. He even went to the extent of driving miller’s sheep to the mountain and deserted his time, his flowers. Finally, when the miller’s son falls from the ladder and takes some injuries. The miller asks Hans to go to fetch the doctor. It was terribly windy and dark night. The miller, being very clever persuaded Hans to go in the stormy night. Hans agreed and set out on his journey. Unfortunately, Hans lost his way. He wandered in the moor and drowned there. The miller mourned the death of his friend and led the procession of his burial.