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In "The Door in the Wall," by H.G. Wells, Wallace's entire life is affected by his...

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azharrahman | Student, Undergraduate | eNotes Newbie

Posted February 16, 2011 at 6:57 AM via web

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In "The Door in the Wall," by H.G. Wells, Wallace's entire life is affected by his belief that he entered a magical garden: how did this affect him?

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hinashahid | Student, Undergraduate | eNoter

Posted July 23, 2012 at 10:54 AM (Answer #1)

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"The Door in the Wall" ,the beautifully written short story by H.G Wells,is first published in 1911 as part of the collection titled "The Door in the Wall And other stories".H.G wells have very beautifully portrayed the metaphor of alienation and a sense of loneliness suffered by the main character ,Lionel Wallace in the story.He was preoccupied by the beautiful memories of an enchanted garden.The manner in which he was treated during his childhood ,he indulged himself creating his own private world of imaginations that made all the interest and spectacles of this world dull and tedious to him.Throughout his life ,he longed and haunted by the beautiful memories of this garden,which was dominating his life and even affecting his career as a successful politician .Even his friend Redmond to whom he was disclosing his secrets,said that whether he himself saw or thought he saw and whether he was the victim of that fantastic dream.The story simply suggest the magic and danger of a nostalgia for a buried time.

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booboosmoosh | High School Teacher | (Level 3) Educator Emeritus

Posted February 16, 2011 at 8:54 AM (Answer #2)

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[eNotes editors are only permitted to answer one question per posting. If you have additional questions, please post them separately.]

In H.G. Wells' short story, "The Door in the Wall," Wallace—who tells the story of his discovery of a magical garden—provides his audience, Redmond, with more questions, than answers.

When Wallace was a young boy of about five years of age, he wandered off and found himself at a long white wall with a green door in it. It seemed to "call" to him in some way, so that even while the boy tried to fight it, he finally charged through the door before he could change his mind. Inside was a wonderful place where this lonely little boy was able to play, see amazing things (like tamed panthers), and feel the warm welcome of its residents, of which there were many different kinds. His departure from this place was forced upon him as he insisted upon seeing his future in a magical book that held all the pieces—the exact experiences—that had made up his life to that point.

When the young Wallace returned home, bereft of his garden and friends, he was punished first by his father and then by an aunt, for making up stories. Except for a very short time, the garden—and the wall and door—occupied a good deal of his attention. And even though he passed the door several times, there was always a reason for him not to enter through it: a pressing engagement to try to win a scholarship or the possibility of a higher political position, etc.

Throughout his life, then, he spent an enormous amount of time wishing he could return to the garden and regretting that he had so often passed over the opportunity for accomplishments that held little real meaning for him: until he sees his lifetime as years filled with only that regret.

By the end of the story, Wallace is depressed and disappointed. The things that the world uses to measure success (and he is considered by Redmond to be wildly successful), are meaningless to Wallace. In pursuing the measure of success in a man's world, he forgot to seek out the joys of youth, maintaining some semblance of the imaginative child he became upon entering the garden so many years ago.

Ironically, Wallace promises himself that if the door appears to him again, which he highly doubts, he will not pass up another opportunity but will enter; and he assures Redmond that he will never return. The narrator, Redmond, is left to ask himself (and the reader) if in the end, Wallace did not do just that.

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