Nightingale and the Rose

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Analysis on Irony
Text: “The Nightingale and the Rose” by Oscar Wilde

Situational Irony is very evident in “The Nightingale and the Rose”. The outcome of the story is far from what readers expect.

First, the readers would assume that there is actually true love between the student and the Professor’s daughter and that the in the end of a story lies a happy ending for the two. From the introduction to almost the end of the story (except the last 6 paragraphs from 57-62), the author tries to establish that the story is about true love- understanding it, finding it, and sacrificing to get it. From paragraph 3, the student gives us the impression that he has a deeper understanding or meaning for true happiness, he thinks that happiness must not depend on such a little thing like a single red rose. Furthermore in paragraphs 5, 7 and 37, we see how the student’s life seems to revolve around the Professor’s daughter. More than anything, he wants to find this red rose that will allow him to share a dance with this girl and be able to profess his “true love” for her because not being able to do so will break his heart [#5&7: “But there is no red rose in my garden, so I shall sit lonely and she will pass me by. She will have no heed of me, and my heart will break” and he flung himself down on the grass and buried his face in his hands, and wept]. However, there is a great irony waiting in the end of the story. As we are given hope that the impossible might be possible when the student is able to get a red rose, unexpectedly, as he gives it to the girl, they still do not share a romantic moment together. Rather, the girl seems indifferent [paragraphs 57-60], saying that she wouldn’t go the ball because she doesn’t like her dress and not even showing the smallest appreciation for the red rose she requested. In these same paragraphs, we also see how she really has a materialistic view on “love”. She liked the red rose because it was a flower that was sure to cost a...
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