"The Happy Prince" is the story of a typical ruler who lived a life of luxury and happiness.
He was completely detached from common people and knew nothing about their sorrows and misfortunes. After his death his statue was fixed high on a tower. He was decorated with gold and jewels and looked very beautiful. Looking at the city he could see the poor, the needy and the handicapped suffering from disease and poverty. When he saw their miserable plight, his heart was moved and he decided to help them. So, he requested the little swallow to take his gold and jewels to them.
The story tells us in detail how the poor live in dark and narrow houses. They do not even get enough to make their both ends meet. We also come to know that Jews are fond of money and gold. The decision of the mayor of the city to melt the statue of the Happy Prince and make his own indicates jealousy and craze for fame and popularity in that society. Although the story is unreal, yet the situations given in it apply perfectly to the conditions prevailing in that society. So, it has been rightly commented that these stories were written to mirror modern life in a form remote from reality. However, the story teaches a good moral lesson to the readers.