The Rose Elf

Topics: English-language films, Hans Christian Andersen, Debut albums Pages: 5 (1138 words) Published: February 10, 2015
Danielle Sherstad
Merle Alix
English II
30 January 2015
Rhetorical Analysis of “The Rose-Elf”
The Rose-Elf “Written by Hans Christian Anderson” is one of his lesser known pieces of literature but like so many of his works he tells quite an interesting and sad story that ends with justice done. There are many meanings that one could take from the story; ones of revenge, romance or that no matter how small one is they are important, but one of the more prominent themes is one of life. Such as the way circumstances in and of life are constantly changing, how nothing is guaranteed or stays the same. All earthly creatures have an end; they last only a short time and then die. Anderson’s The Rose-Elf is a short story about the impermanence of life.

So one can better understand here is what happened in the story. The Rose-Elf is unable to get back into his rose home, terrified he searches for a place to hide and meets two young lovers who are being forced apart by the woman’s evil brother. The girl gives her lover a rose, in which the Rose-Elf jumps into, and the lovers separate. As the girl’s lover is walking through the woods her evil brother attacks, beheads and buries him. The Rose-Elf is now with the evil man and is taken to his home. There the Rose-Elf falls onto the bed of the girl and he tells her that her lover is dead. So she goes and finds his body, takes his head home and puts it in a flower pot. She cries over the flower pot and is overcome by grief, so the Rose-Elf crawls up to her ear in her sleep and tells her stories, she dreams a sweet dream and dies to which she is reunited with her lover in heaven. The evil brother sees the flower pot, thinks it beautiful and takes it with the Rose-Elf in it. The Rose-Elf thinking that no one else will take action, goes to the bees and their Queen to which they all decide to kill the evil brother, but when they return the man is dead. The flowers that had grown from the lover’s eyes and lips knew what had happened and killed the evil man. The people came in and the bees swarmed around the pot knocking it over revealing the skull of the dead lover telling everyone that this man is a murderer (Anderson 388-393).

One of the best examples of the impermanence of life is when the Rose-Elf notices how fast life can pass. “Alas! How soon everything good and beautiful passes away!” (Anderson 391) the Rose-Elf said as he looked at the faded rose he had once lived in. He had lived in so many flowers and had watched one man kill another (Anderson 389). This was when he realized just how fast lives can bloom and fade away, just as flowers do. The man had burned so brightly with passion for his lover just as a flower can bloom so colorfully. But no earthly circumstance can last forever especially the delicate humans. Humans are mortal they spend a limited amount of time on earth before passing on.

Unlike the flowers fading, the man’s life was taken. “Now he is forgotten and gone! thought the evil brother” (Anderson 389). Now that he had gotten rid of his sister’s lover she would forget him and he would keep her. While the sister is at home believing that one day her lover would return even though he is dead. Neither of them had thought or wanted their lives to change and in resistance to that change the brother killed the one who had gotten in the way. So the woman’s lover was gone as well as their romantic relationship. Not even relationships or bonds can last forever. When someone is gone out of their life it can be easy to forget them and many times one tries to forget to move on. The brother was hoping for this to happen to his sister, believing that just because her lover is now gone from the earth that he would be forgotten and of the lover was forgotten his existence would really be gone.

Now that the woman’s lover is dead she is in despair. Grief overtaking her, she refuses to eat and grows paler everyday weeping over the flowerpot. Though her depression did not...

Cited: Andersen, Hans Christian. "The Rose-Elf." Stories & Tales (2002): 388-393. Literary Reference
Center Plus. Web. 23 Jan. 2015.
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