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The Devoted Friend

The Devoted Friend

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Published by Ashfaque Hussain

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Published by: Ashfaque Hussain on Feb 16, 2010
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10/23/2014

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THE DEVOTED FRIENDIntroduction to the Author:Oscar Wild (1856-1900) was one of the most elegent writers of the late 19
th
century. He was only next to Bernard shaw (1856-1950) who took an important part inthe revival of drama in woman of No importance (1893), An Ideal Husband and theImportance being Earnest” are his four important comedies. He was also short storywriter and poet of great merit. After Trinity College, he went oxford where he won thenewdigate Prize of English verse his journalism and his art for art sake made him a publicfigure.BACKGROUND TO THE STORY:The writer has proverb: A friend in need is a friend indeed, in his beautifullycomposed fairy tale title the devoted friend “ In this comically on sided friendship between little Hans and big Hough the Miller, the author has expressed the selfness andinsincerity of the Miller and sincerity of little Hands. The Miller goes on reminding Hansof the duties of a devoted drive his sheep the mountain for graing and got his barnmended, so during such long and tiring errands, poor Hans could not look after hisgarden, but he consoled himself that the Miller was his best friend and it would beunfriendly to refuse him, besides, he was going to give him a wheel. Barrow built it fishand mean Miller gave him nothing but empty words, and lofty ideas about true friendshipand Hans took down in his note book.One night the Miller’s younger son fell from the ladder and got some injuries. TheMiller went to Hans and sake him to call in a doctor in place of him. Little Hans gotready, as it was dark and storm night, so he asked the miller to lend him his lantern. Butthe selfish Miller refused to give him his lantern, simply because, it was new and if it waslost, it would be a great loss to him, Anyway, Hans set off to call in a doctor withouthaving lantern., On returning, little Hans lost his way to home in pitch dark and violentstorm and fell in a water pool. Thus little Hans was drowned to death. His dead body wastaken out of the water pool in the morning. The Miller’s meanness and selfishness took innocent Hans life only for new lantern.Such a selfish and mean approach to wards friendship on the part of the stonehearted and greedy miller sets a leason for the rears that better to have no friend at allthan selfish one,”
QUESTIONS AND ANSWERSQ.No.1: give character of little Hans?Ans: AS A POOR GARDENER:
little Hans is poor gardener. He earns his livelihood, by selling flowers. He is poor, but very generous and large-hearted. He is extremelyfriendly and likeable. He is kind and helpful to everyone in the village, spoke highly of him and his, “funny round face”. Flowers are all the wealth that he possessed.
HANS SUFFERING DURING THE WINTERS:
Hans enjoyed life in the spring,summer and autumn seasons, as he had flowers in abundance. But the winter, was aterrible season for him, as then, he, had no flowers or fruits, to sell. He suffered a great
 
deal, from cold and hunger, and he often had to go to bed, without any supper. Friend buthe never acts upon his own words. On this contrary, Hans does what ever he can for thesake of his friend and sacrifices his life.
Appreciations of the Storty:
Linnet, a small song bird tells: an old water rat who has great sympathy and beautiful sentiments for the Miller a story so toughing that there was a poor, innocent,honest and kind, Hearted guy named Hans. He was very popular among his countrymenfor his lovely and obliging nature. He lived all alone in a small cottage He has a lovelygarden where he would grow various kinds of pretty flowers and seasonal fruits andearned his living by selling them in the market . Hans had many friends, but the Miller named Hugh was his best friend. The Miller was, infact, a selfish and self cantered person. He used to say that real friends should have every thing in common. Infact, therewas a wide gap between his sayings and doing, Whatever, he argued about truefriendship,, he himself never acted upon. He would go to see the little Hans just to take pretty flowers and fruits for all the three seasons spring, summer and autumn but inwriter, he suffered a lot from cold and hunger, for he had neither flowers nor fruits to sellin the market for two square meal. So, the Miller never paid his visit to Hans during hishard period of Starvation and never offered him any thing in return. Besides, he told hiswife that there was no good in his going to see the little Hans as long as the snow lasted.He believed that the friends should be left alone in trouble and not be bothered byvisitors.One spring, the greedy Miller went to little Hans carrying a large Basket with himand asked Hans low he had passed the last writer. Hans told him that he had rather badtime in that winter, because he has to sell his silver buttons of Sunday. Coat, silver chain, big pipe and final
l
y his wheel barrow to combat the hard time of winter season. On this,the Miller promised him to give him his wheel., barrow, indeed outworn, but he never kept his promise. In return, he got a quite full basket of pretty flowers and plank fromHans on the every day of his promise. In the next few days, he made him carry a big sack of flour to the market for sale;
HANS’ SEALFISH FRIEND
: Little Hans had many friends, but the most devoted of allthe friends, was Hugh, the Miller. The Miller was a mean and selfish friend. He took great advantage of Han’s kind nature and almost daily, took flowers or herbs and plums if it was the fruit season. One winter, Hans almost died of starvation, but the selfish Miller,never once called on him or helped him with money or food.
THE MILLER EXPLOITS HANS:
The Miller exploits Hans’s kind nature. On the pretext of giving Hans his wheel-barrow, he made Hans work for him, as if he was his paid servant. The Miller is so small0hearted that he refused, to lend Hans his lantern,when he was going to fetch a Doctor, for his son, who had hurt his leg. Hans was soobliging that he went without it. In fact he gave his life, for the mean Miller. He gotdrowned, in the pool of water,
HANS GIVES HIS LIFE FOR THE CAUSE OF FREINDSHIP:
Hans gives his life, for his cunning and greedy friend. Hans is a simple and a devotedfriend. He is a true friend. He bore all the humiliation, but never once hurt his friend. Hedid not have the heart to refuse or injure the feelings of his dear friend. He is a symbol of true friendship. Such devoted friends are rare in these days.
 
The Miller refused to lend him the lantern, starting that, it was his new lantern andthat it would get spoiled, in the rain.HANS VISITS THE DOCTORS: However, Hans went without the lantern. After aboutthree hours, Hans finally reached the doctor’s house and asked him to visit the Miller’shouse. The doctor soon rode towards the Miller’s house, while Hans followed him, onfoot. Meanwhile, the storm and the rain grew, worse.HANS DROWNS IN THE POOL: On his way home, Hans lost his way and fell into a pool of water, and got drowned. Everyone was sad at Han’s death. The Miller presentedto be the saddest.At his funeral, he shed big crocodile tears and said that, as Hans was his bestfriend, he should have the best place, at the funeral. He also announced, that Little Hansdeath was a great loss to him. He also said that he had almost given him the wheel –  barrow and now he did not know what to do with it.CONCLUSION: The Miller further announced, to everyone’s disgust that in future hewould never be generous, because one suffers for being generous. The story teaches themoral that true friendship is one; in which friends help each other.The author laugh at the one-sided friendship between Little Hans and the Miller.Q.No2: Why was the story of Hans and Miller, applicable to water-rat?And: the story of Hans and Miller is applicable to water-rat because, the water-rat hadthe same wicked and selfish nature like that or Miller, In the beginning of the story,where the duck mother is suggests the duck to drown her children because they were paying no attention towards her guidance, Secondly, the water-rat appreciated the natureand the deeds of Miller and climbed that he had the same fine sentiments like that theMiller, In the end, he was not at all sorry about the miserable death of poor Hans. He wasworried about the Wheelbarow of the Miller. All this indicates that he was extremelyselfish and the story of Hans and Miller was fully applicable to him.Q.No.3: When do we first suspect that the Miller was not really a good friend to Hans?Ans: Rich Miller came to see Little Hans in spring, summer and autumn only. He did notmeet him during the period of snow fall as there were no fruits and flowers in his garden.It was a very difficult time for Little Hans. The Miller used to say to his wife, “”when people are in trouble, they should be left alone and not be bothered by the visitors”. Hefurther claimed that he did not want to but his friend in much more trouble because healready in trouble. So I shall pay him a visit during the spring he would be able to give alarge basket of prime roses and that will make so happy. I want to make my friend happy,so I shall wait for the spring. These words make us feel that Miller is very cunning andselfish fellow and he is not a good friend to little Hans.Q.No.4: When do we first miller justify his not asking Hans to share some of his goodthings during the winter?
Ans:
Miller did not ask little Hans to share some of his good things during the winter  because he was selfish and greedy. He however justify his motive by saying that littleHans was a poor man, if he came up here and saw their warm fire, good supper and greatcash of red wine, he will get jealous. He further added that jealousy is a very bad habit, itruins the the nature of his friend just for ordinary things. He will watch that his friend isnot led into any temptation. He said flour is one thing and friendship is another. Theymust be confused tighter. There is quite different meaning of them.

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