Analysis of the Nightingale and the Rose

Only available on StudyMode
  • Download(s): 11857
  • Published: December 15, 2010
Read full document
Text Preview
Appreciation Forgotten

The fairy tale of The Nightingale and the Rose, by Oscar Wilde published in 1990, is a story of the consequences of not appreciating creation. It is also a story of men not appreciating the sacrifices that women make. This passage, from The Nightingale and the Rose, foreshadows the consequences of not a appreciating nature. It then symbolizes pregnancy and childbirth, a sacrifice many women make that men take for granted. The first part of the passage uses dramatic irony to foreshadow the major event of the student being unappreciative if the nightingales sacrifice and throwing the rose away. We know that the nightingale is going to give up her life so the student can find love. Yet the student does not appreciate this sacrifice. Here he is describing her as an artist “without any sincerity.” He says, “she would not sacrifice herself. She thinks merely of music and everybody knows the arts are selfish.” We the reader know she is about to make the biggest sacrifice of all, her life. Her life presents a rose that the student eventually throws away because the one he loved does not want it. He never shows any appreciation to the nightingale, and gives up on love altogether. Just as the student does not appreciate the Nightingale or her sacrifice in The Nightingale and the Rose, the giant from The Selfish Giant, also by Oscar Wilde, does not appreciate the children who play in his garden. He builds a wall to keep them out, consequently this wall also keeps out the spring, who has no interest in being in the garden with no children to play in it. The student did not appreciate God’s creation of the nightingale and her sacrifice there for he was not allowed to appreciate the feeling of love, just as the giant did not appreciate God’s creation, the children, therefore he was not allowed to appreciate the delightfulness of spring. The second half of the passage symbolizes pregnancy and childbirth, with the Nightingale representing the mother and the rose representing the fetus and newborn child. It begins with, “and when the Moon shone in the heavens the Nightingale flew to the Rose-tree, and set her breast against the thorn. All night long, she sang with her breast against the thorn, and the cold crystal Moon leaned down and listened. All night long she sang, and the thorn went deeper and deeper into her breast, and her life-blood ebbed away from her.” We see child conception symbolized here, when “her life-blood ebbed away from her” is the moment in which the child is conceived. Next we hear of the Nightingale who “sang first of the birth of love in the heart of a boy and girl.” This love is usually for their mother. When children are born, the first person they love is their mother, being as they were a part of her for nine months. As the Nightingale sings her songs “on the top-most spray of the Rose-tree there blossomed a marvelous rose, petal following petal, as song followed song” This symbolizes the formation of a small, pale fetus in the mother’s womb . “The shadow of a rose” symbolizes the literal connection the fetus has with its mother before it is born, just as a shadow is attached to one’s foot. The mirror is the genes that the mother passes to her child, in order for her child to resemble her. “So the Nightingale pressed closer against the thorn.” The Nightingale pressing closer against the thorn is the mother sacrificing more for her child. Mom and baby begin to have an even stronger connection as the thorn gets closer to the nightingales heart. “‘Or the Day will come before the rose is finished,’” symbolizes the mother having to sacrifice more to protect her baby and prevent a premature pregnancy. The story continues “and a delicate flush of pink came into the leaves of the rose.” The rose grows as a fetus in the womb and becomes a flush pink, like the color of the skin and lips on the child. “But the thorn had not yet reached her...
tracking img