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The Happy Prince | NCERT Solution | Class IX

Lesson Architecture

  • Theme

  • Lesson at a Glance

  • NCERT Solution

Theme:

  • The Happy Prince is a poignant and touching story of the statue of a prince and a little swallow that gives up its life to be with the prince.

  • It is a story of kindness, friendship and selfless loyalty.

  • Real feelings and emotions have been given to the character of the Happy Prince, a statue on a tall column, high above the city.

  • The swallow is a loyal and selfless bird who remains with the Happy Prince and carries out his commands.

  • The swallow is a symbol of selfless love and service. He knows that his end is imminent but he does not leave the prince alone. He gives up his life to help the prince be of service to the poor.

Lesson-at-a-Glance

  • The statue of the prince was erected on a tall column. The prince was gilded with thin leaves of gold. He had sapphires for eyes and a ruby on his sword hilt.

  • One day a swallow alighted near his feet. He was on his way to Egypt to escape the cold winter. All his friends had already gone to Egypt.

  • As the swallow settled down to sleep, tear drops fell on him. He saw that the eyes of the prince's statue were filled with tears.

  • The statue replied that when he was alive he lived in the palace and knew nothing of sorrow. He was always happy and was called the Happy Prince. Now that he was dead, his statue had been placed on a tall column from where he could see the ugliness and misery of his city.

  • The Happy Prince told the bird that far away he could see a poor seamstress embroidering a dress for a rich lady while her child lay sick and hungry, asking for an orange. He told the swallow to pick out the ruby from his sword hilt and take it to the seamstress.

  • The next day the swallow saw all the monuments in the city, and when evening fell, he came to the prince before flying to Egypt.

  • The prince begged him to stay one more night. He said that far away he could see a young playwright in a garret.

  • He had to finish a play but was faint with hunger and too cold to write. The prince was full of pity for the man and asked the swallow to pluck out one of his eyes that were made of rare sapphires and take it to the poor playwright. The playwright then experienced a new ray of life.

  • On the third day, the swallow spent time at the harbour watching the sailors. When he came to say goodbye to the prince, the prince asked him to stay one more day. He said that he could see a poor little girl who had dropped her matchsticks in the gutter. He said that her father would beat her if she did not bring him some money.

  • The prince asked the swallow to pluck out his remaining eye and give it to the little girl. The swallow obliged what the prince asked.

  • The prince, being blind now, the swallow decided to stay back with the Prince. The next day the swallow sat on the prince's shoulder and told him stories of what he had seen in strange lands.

  • The swallow flew over the city when being asked by the prince and saw how the rich wre enjoying themselves while the poor suffered.

  • When he told the prince what he had seen, the prince asked him to remove his gold leaves one by one and give them to the poor.

  • The poor little swallow grew colder and colder but he did not leave the prince whom he loved so well. He kissed the prince and fell down dead at his feet. At that time the leaden heart of the prince's statue too snapped into two.

  • The next morning when the Mayor saw the statue, he noted how shabby it looked. The statue of the prince was pulled down and melted in the furnace.

  • On being discovered that the leaden heart of the statue did not melt, the workmen in the foundry threw it away on a dust heap where the dead swallow was also lying.

NCERT Solution


1. Why do the courtiers call the prince ‘the Happy Prince’? Is he really happy? What does he see all around him?


Ans: The Happy Prince lives in a great palace where sorrow is not allowed to enter. So he lives happily unaware of the sorrows and sufferings of the world.

He is not really happy as he can see now all the ugliness and misery of his city.


2. Why does the Happy Prince send a ruby for the seamstress? What does the swallow do in the seamstress’ house?

Ans: The seamstress was too poor to be able to buy food for her sick child. Therefore, the happy Prince decided to send a ruby for the seamstress.


On reaching the seamstress's house the swallow can discover that the seamstress has fallen asleep due to her fatigue. The swallow places the ruby on the table and flies round the bed, fanning the boy's forehead with his wings. The boy having felt comfortable goes off to sleep.


3. For whom does the Prince send the Sapphires and why?

Ans: The Prince sends the sapphires, which his eyes are made of, for a young writer and a matchgirl.


The young writer is busy in a project for the Director of the Theatre. He does not have any fire in his grate to warm himself. So the prince sends him sapphire to that by selling it to a jeweller he can buy firewood to keep himself warm and finish his play on time.


The little matchgirl's matches have fallen into the gutter and are all spoiled. Therefore, the prince asks the swallow to pluck out his other eye and give it to the match girl. The matchgirl became extremely happy and returns home heartily.


4. What does the swallow see when it flies over the city?

Ans: The swallow sees scenes of misery and helplessness everywhere.

  • The rich make merry in their beautiful houses while the beggars sit at the gates.

  • The swallow flies into dark lanes and sees the white faces of starving children looking out listlessly at the streets.

  • Under the archway of a bridge he sees two little boys huddling in each other's arms trying to keep themselves warm in the rain.

  • These little boys are forced to wander out into the rain as the watchman instructs them to move out.

5. Why did the swallow not leave the prince and go to Egypt?

Ans: As the prince became blind after donating his eyes made of sapphire to the poor and the needy, the swallow decided to stay back and not to leave him. The condition of the little swallow got worse due to the arrival of snow and frost. He picked up the crumbs outside the bakery and kept himself warm by flapping his wings. He loved the prince very much and lived with him till his death.


6. What are the precious things mentioned in the story? Why are they precious?


The two precious things mentioned in the story are the prince's leaden heart and the dead swallow. Both are precious due to the following reasons:


  • The Prince felt miserable at the sight of the suffering people in his kingdom. He selflessly donated his ruby , sapphires and all his gold.

  • He was sacrificing in nature and only thought of how he could help the suffering humanity.

  • The little swallow helped the prince by reaching out to the needy and suffering people.

  • When the prince turned blind, the swallow decided to stay with him and look after him.

  • He gave up his plan of going to Egypt where all his friends have gone.

  • He braved the extreme cold winter in close proximity to the statue of the Prince and yet did not leave the Prince unattended.

For the NCERT Solution of 'Reach For the Top', Please Click Here.

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