Oscar Wilde lived between the years 1854 and 1900 as he was a great poet from Ireland and significantly contributed to English short stories and comedy. Oscar is well known for the great works he did, including “The Happy Prince and Other Tales, A Woman of No Importance”. The Model Millionaire short story shows the effect of the gap between the privileged and the underprivileged widening in society. The short story was set in Victorian England. Wilde uses characters such as Hughie Erskine to represent the poor and Baron Hausberg to serve the rich. As discussed in this essay, different themes are shown to cover the topics in particular.
The theme of Love is Blind, and Marriage is a Bet
Even though Hughie has been reduced, she falls in love with Laura, who was a retired military man’s daughter. The theme of love displayed here has been blind and painful well. The daughter’s father gives condition to poor Hughie and orders him to bring 10,0000 pounds for the marriage between the two to take place (Oscar 98). The father does not look into consideration the heart Hughie has; all he wants is money. Hughie has a friend and an artist, and this time, he is about to finish painting a beggar. Hughie tries to act as a model as he sympathizes with the beggar. The beggar thanks Hughie with a smile.
In other words, unless a person is wealthy in society, there is no use in being a charming fellow. Love and romance is a privilege for the rich, not the profession of the unemployed. The story tells that it is better a person to have a permanent income rather than to be fascinating—the reality of modern life which Hughie in the story never realized (Short Stories, 2020). Thinking deeply about Hughie, and the reader must admit he was a good looking man with crisp brown hair. As he was popular with other men, he was indeed popular with women. Although all was accomplished, he still did lack one thing, making money. To make matters worse, he falls in love with Laura. Everybody could see that they were the most handsome couple in London (Oscar 10).
Virtues Never Go Unrewarded
Laura thinks Hughie is too generous and indeed she scolds him. Hughie is thinking of giving old clothes to the former better. He tells his friend that the beggar was the millionaire Baron Hausberg. The millionaire has a house in every capital, and even he can buy the entire London with the money he has. He requested the painter to draw him as a beggar. Hughie is overwhelmed and so upset and does not seek any apology. However, the story is twisted at the end because Hughie receives a cover message from Baron and also a cheque of 10000 pounds. Outside the check, a message: “A wedding present to Hughie and Laura, from an old beggar”. The union between the two Hughie and Laura could be impossible without Hausberg assistance. Hughie is very generous, and that is the reason why Hausberg decided to reward him.
Wealthy is essential for men more than women reflected in the story. The protagonist, who is Hughie, has failed to adapt to the materialistic society. As a result, he is unable to marry the woman he loves and finally becomes nothing. He has a good profile but with no profession. The consciousness of class and gender is illustrated in Victorian England. The beggar represents the poor in the society; Laura and Hughie, for middles class, Alan and Colonel lie there, and Baron represents the upper class of the rich. Baron proves to be the real millionaire as at the end of the story, and he gives the handsome young man a gift of 10,000 pounds for being generous.
Beauty and Morality
In the setting of the story, these two themes matter as much as wealth matters. Wealth can be used to make friends but is not enough to be accepted in society and be considered the right person. Hughie might refer to as a person who has no fortune for himself and may be called a loser. After changing jobs several times, he decided to settle and live on the money given to him by an old aunt. However, he compensates that with his charming nature good looking and kindness. The couple would shine all over London, telling us that Laura was beautiful. On the marriage day, Allan Trevor, the painter, was referred to as the best man by Baron Hausberg.
The Real Millionaire
The millionaire in the context is not the one who has the money but the one who has the heart of giving the money those who need it. Hughie is not a millionaire in the context as Baron is the real millionaire because he realizes the value of charity he has. 'Poor old chap! Said Hughie, 'how miserable he looks! But I suppose, to you painters, his face is his fortune?' (Oscar,
2020). This is the most significant virtues displayed in the story. A soul which can help others is better compared to the artist like the hero’s friend. The reason behind it is that the artist looks at nature and people as it is but the merciful looks to the world and how better it can be. Baron wears patched books and carries battered hat for alms. He represents a rare model, although Hughie for the miserable beggar. Later Baron turns out to be a millionaire as Alan remains “millionaire models are rare enough but, by Jove, model millionaires are rarer still”. The remarks by Trevor seem to be true because rich men are usually very snobbish (Characterisations, The Model Millionaire by Oscar Wilde, 2020).
Conclusively, the author conveys the first messages in the bitter realities of human life. For instance, unless a person is wealthy within society, there is no use of being handsome. Love is only made for the rich and not for those who are poor. The poor should also learn how to become practical in their lives. It is a unique state where a person can be productive and at the same time, be humble because the majority of people are wealthy and inhuman. I think Hughie managed to make friends and be accepted in society. This tells us that good looks can even bring wealth and can also contribute to achieving specific jobs. I believe
Oscar was all aware of all events happening in the story because, of all the characters, there seem no one of them is narrating the story.
"Characterisations | The Model Millionaire By Oscar Wilde". Studienett.No, 2020, Retrieved from https://www.studienett.no/engelsk/analyse/the-model-millionaire/characterisations.
Oscar, W. (2015). The Model Millionaire.Short Stories: The Model Millionaire by Oscar Wilde. (2020). Retrieved from http://www.eastoftheweb.com/short-stories/UBooks/ModMil.shtml
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Essay Example on Oscar Wilde: Great Poet, Visionary Writer of Victorian England. (2023, Aug 27). Retrieved from https://proessays.net/essays/essay-example-on-oscar-wilde-great-poet-visionary-writer-of-victorian-england
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