Analysis of the Nightingale and the Rose

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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...
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