Get here the summary, questions, answers, textbook solutions, extras, and pdf of The Happy Prince by Oscar Wilde of Assam Board (SEBA) and Tripura Board (TBSE) Class 9 English Supplementary Reader textbook (Moments). However, the given notes/solutions should only be used for references and should be modified/changed according to needs.
Summary: The Happy Prince tells the story of a prince and a swallow who joined forces to help poor people as much as they could while sacrificing themselves. The prince was unaware of the suffering or misery that existed in his city during his lifetime, and his cheerful nature earned him the nickname Happy Prince. After his death, however, his statue was placed on a high pedestal from which he could view the sorrow that had engulfed his city. At this point, however, all he could do was cry.
A little swallow who landed on his pedestal one night looking for a place to rest became a saviour and a companion for the Happy Prince. The prince expressed his distress to the swallow and asked for his help. The compassionate swallow decided to delay his migration to Egypt’s sunnier pastures in order to assist the prince in alleviating the suffering of his city’s people. Many people’s lives and dreams were saved thanks to their collaboration, including a seamstress with a sick child, a hungry playwright, and a match girl who was afraid of her father. The jewels that adorn the Happy Prince’s statue were generously given to each of them, and the swallow assisted in their delivery. Finally, the Prince instructed the swallow to pluck the golden leaves from his body and distribute them to the poor. The swallow had fallen in love with the good-hearted Prince and his benevolent spirit, and when the Prince gave away the sapphires that formed his eyes, the swallow decided to spend the rest of his life with his blind companion. After bidding the Prince farewell, the frost arrived, along with winter, and the swallow, unable to bear the cold, died at the feet of the statue. The Prince’s leaden heart split in half at the same time.
The haughty Mayor and Town Councillors decided the statue of the Happy Prince looked shabby and needed to be removed the next morning while inspecting the city. The leaden heart of the statue was not burned when it was melted in a furnace. It was then thrown into the garbage dump, which already had the body of the swallow. The two compassionate souls were finally reunited in Heaven in the presence of God after dying together.
Textual questions and answers
1. Why do the courtiers call the prince ‘the Happy Prince’? Is he really happy? What does he see all around him?
Answer: The prince was dubbed “the Happy Prince” by the courtiers because he had never seen any sorrow or suffering during his sheltered life inside the palace, and thus lived a happy, contented life free of tears.
No, as a statue overlooking his city after his death, he is not happy. In fact, despite the fact that his heart is made of lead, he is so depressed that he weeps.
He could see the ugliness, misery, and sorrow that engulfed his city and its people from his vantage point atop a high pedestal.
2. Why does the Happy Prince send a ruby to the seamstress? What does the swallow do in the seamstress’s house?
Answer: From his throne, the Happy Prince noticed a thin and worn-looking seamstress working on a gown with coarse and pricked hands, while her young son lay ill in one corner. He requested oranges from his mother, but she could only offer him river water due to her poverty. As a result, the Happy Prince felt sorry for her and wished to help her. As a result, he requested that the swallow take a ruby from his sword and give it to her so she could be free of her misery.
The swallow noticed the woman was sleeping and the boy had a high fever in the seamstress’ house. He jumped in and placed the ruby on the table next to the sleeping woman’s thimble. He then circled the sick boy’s bed, his wings fanning his brow.
3. For whom does the prince send the sapphires and why?
Answer: The first sapphire was given by the Happy Prince to a struggling young playwright by the swallow. The Happy Prince felt sorry for the young man who was fainting from hunger and cold due to a lack of fire in his grate and sent him the sapphire. He hoped it would enable him to purchase firewood and finish the play he was writing for the theatre’s director.
The Happy Prince gave away his second sapphire to a poor little match girl who was crying because her matches had fallen into the gutter and been ruined as a result. She was missing shoes, stockings, and a head covering. The prince hoped that his sapphire would protect her from her father’s wrath, which he knew she would face if she didn’t bring any money home.
6. What are the precious things mentioned in the story? Why are they precious?
Answer: The story mentions two precious things: the leaden heart of the Happy Prince and the dead body of the swallow. They are valuable because both the Happy Prince (with his leaden heart) and the swallow put their own well-being aside to care for and provide for the city’s poor. When the Happy Prince’s heartbeat was filled with compassion and helped him realise the ugliness of his city, the swallow joined hands with the Happy Prince and did his best to alleviate the poor’s sufferings.
Additional/extra questions and answers/solutions
1. Where did the swallow intend to go? Why?
Answer: Egypt was the destination for the swallow. Because it would soon be winter in his part of the world, the swallow was flying to Egypt. In Egypt, on the other hand, the sun shone brightly. Furthermore, all of his friends had already left, and the swallow was now following them to Egypt.
2. Why did the swallow come to a halt on his way to Egypt? Did he make it to Egypt?
Answer: The swallow came to a halt in the city of the Happy Prince beneath his statue because it was late at night and he needed a place to rest until the morning. No, the swallow never made it to Egypt because, while the prince pleaded with him to stay and help him deliver jewels to the poor, the prince’s compassionate and selfless nature made his own kind heart melt. He had fallen in love with the Happy Prince and would not leave his side. He died at the feet of the prince, unable to bear the winter frost.
3. Why did the swallow pluck the eyes out of the Happy Prince?
Answer: At the request of the Happy Prince, the swallow plucked out his eyes. The eyes of the Happy Prince were made of priceless sapphires. He asked the swallow to pluck them out and give them to a young, hungry playwright and a miserable, cold matchgirl to ease their suffering.
4. What kind of proclamation did the mayor issue? Why?
Answer: The mayor decided to issue a proclamation prohibiting the killing of birds within the city limits. The Mayor decided to issue such a proclamation after noticing the dead body of the swallow near the feet of the Happy Prince statue. The Mayor, in his arrogance, believed that the sight detracted from the city’s beauty.
5. Describe the statue of the Happy Prince? Why did the mayor decide to demolish the statue?
Answer: The Happy Prince statue was a work of art. It was a symbol of beauty. It was erected high above the city on a tall column. Fine gold leaves were used to gild the statue all over.
Two rare and exotic sapphires glowed brightly in place of his eyes, and the hilt of his sword was adorned with a large red ruby. The Happy Prince had donated all of his fineries to the city’s poor, and his statue now looked shabby and unfit to be displayed on a high pedestal, so the Mayor decided to demolish it.
6. Describe the Happy Prince’s statue.
Answer: A tall pillar supported the statue of the Happy Prince. He was completely gold-plated. He wore sapphires in his eyes. His sword had a large ruby on the hilt.
7. What made the statue of the Happy Prince cry?
Answer: The Happy Prince statue was atop a tall pillar, and he could see people’s sorrows and sadness. He came across a seamstress. Her son had become unwell. But other than the river water, she had nothing to give her. This brought the Happy Prince to tears.
8. What does the Happy Prince statue’s name mean?
Answer: This was a statue of a prince. He resided in a palace when he was living. He didn’t know what tears were. He had never known grief in his life. He was constantly cheerful. His whole life had been one of happiness. His statue became known as the Happy Prince as a result of this.
9. What was the reason for the Happy Prince inviting the swallow to spend the night with him?
Answer: The Happy Prince was extremely generous. He noticed the poor seamstress’s sadness. Her son had become unwell. Except for the river water, she had nothing to give him. The Happy Prince wished to assist her. He intended to send her a ruby as a gift. He couldn’t move, though. So he asked the swallow to spend the night with him.
10. What was the swallow’s destination? What made him decide not to go?
Answer: The swallow was on his way to Egypt to join his companions who had already arrived six weeks before. He had only intended to stay for one night to break up his long travel, but he became so close to the Happy Prince that he couldn’t bear to see him sad. He remained behind to serve as his messenger.
19. What thrilled the playwright?
Answer: The playwright noticed a sapphire on the table next to him. He assumed it had come from a great admirer. He was overjoyed by this.
20. Describe the plight of the underprivileged in the city. What was the Happy Prince’s contribution?
Answer: The city’s destitute citizens had a horrible existence. A poor seamstress was present. She didn’t know what to offer her sick son. As a result, the Happy Prince sent her a ruby. There was a playwright who couldn’t keep warm since he didn’t have enough firewood. He received a sapphire from the prince. There was a match-girl who was missing her shoes and stockings. Her matches were strewn about in the gutter. She was in tears. Her second sapphire arrived from the prince. There were young people who were hungry and homeless. All of the gold leaves on the prince’s body were sent to them.
21. Give a brief description of the Happy Prince’s character.
Answer: The poor people’s misery was seen by the Happy Prince. Pity softened his heart for them. He was moved to tears by their misery. He gave all of his rubies, sapphires, and gold to the poor. He went blind. His body was unsightly. But he was content in his heart since he had given what he had to the needy. The Happy Prince realised that true happiness was found in serving the underprivileged. God protected him and kept him in paradise.
22. Give a brief description of the swallow’s character.
Answer: The swallow looked exactly like the Happy Prince. It had a heart of gold. It noticed the prince’s tears. Its heart broke with compassion. It wished to assist the prince. As a result, it abandoned its plans to visit Egypt. On frigid nights, it stayed with the prince. When the prince became blind, the swallow resolved to stay with him for the rest of his life. It passed away one day. Even the dead couldn’t tell the difference between it and the prince. Along with the prince, it was carried to heaven.
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