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August 7, 2018


Classic: Oscar Wilde

by NancyElin



  1. Infanta is given a birthday party by her father the King.
  2. He arranges whirling gypsies, an African juggler, a snake charmer,
  3. a mock bullfight and…a dancing dwarf.
  4. The birthday girl throws the dwarf a white rose!
  5. The dwarf is ‘éperdument amoureux’
  6. … and wanders through the garden…filled with happiness.
  7. He slips into the palace to find the Infanta and tell her of his  love.
  8. The only thing he finds is his reflection
  9. …in a mirror exposing his own grotesque.
  10. Now he know why the infanta was laughing at him
  11. … he was a ‘petit monstre’.
  12. No spoilers…ending that packs a punch.



  1. This story is a gem!
  2. All we know of the Infanta (10% of the story):
  3. she is the most graceful of all
  4. she shrugs her  shoulders when her father does not attend the mock bullfight
  5. the Infanta laughs, applauds the dancing Dwarf, flutters her fan and
  6. with the sweetest smile throws him a white rose.
  7. This is her beautiful exterior.
  8. All we know of the dwarf (35% of the story):
  9. he has crooked legs, a wagging huge head and a hunched back.
  10. He has always lived in the forest and was unaware of his own grotesque.
  11. This is his ugly  exterior.
  12. Yet the interior of the dwarf is  loving, generous and kind.
  13. The interior of the Infanta is
  14. …stamping her foot, cries out commands and
  15. her rose-leaf lips curl in pretty disdain when she hears
  16. …why the dwarf cannot dance for her again.


Strong point:  anthropomorphism (literary device)

  1. Oscar Wilde give plants and animals human attributes.
  2. They voice feelings (lesson or a moral) that the…
  3. Tall tulip flowers (high-society) have about the ugly dwarf.
  4. The milk “white” peacock says everyone knows that the
  5. children of Kings were Kings and  the children of
  6. charcoal (black)-burners were charcoal-burners (class differences)
  7. …”and it was absurd to pretend that it wasn’t so“.


Last thoughts:

  1. Oscar Wilde juxtaposes the Infanta vs the dwarf.
  2. Ugliness inside a beautiful exterior.
  3. Beauty inside a grotesque exterior.
  4. Oscar Wilde pokes fun at the grotesque as
  5. …did Victor Hugo (Hunchback Notre-Dame).
  6. Both authors wanted to forget their own misery:
  7. …Wilde ‘otherness’ (homosexuality)
  8. …Hugo a physical deformity.




Read more from Classic, short story
2 Comments Post a comment
  1. Pure Wilde inspiration and imagination!


Trackbacks & Pingbacks

  1. Classic Club Master List | NancyElin

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