The Introduction of The Nightingale and the Rose by Oscar Wilde
“But the Tree cried to the Nightingaleaˆ¦” to the end of the story.Oscar Wilde’s story, “The Nightingale and the Rose”, takes on thefamiliar fairytale form, however Wilde also incorporates modern issuesin his writing. He uses the basic structure of a fairy story tocommunicate these issues with the reader.
In this extract we see the Nightingale pressing her breast against thethorn in an effort to create a red rose for the student. As shepresses closer the rose grows deeper in colour, “louder and loudergrew her song, for she sang of the birth of passion”. The louder andmore meaningful her song becomes, the deeper the crimson colour of therose becomes. “And a delicate flush of pink came into the leaves ofthe rose, like the flush in the face of the bridegroom when he kissesthe lips of the bride.” Here Wilde uses a simile to describe thecolour seen. This simile is carefully chosen to reflect upon modernlife and fairytale imagery.
This story uses familiar aspects of fairytales such as repetition andgroups of three.
“The Tree cried to the Nightingale to press close against the thorn.’Press closer, little Nightingale,’ cried the Tree, ‘or Day will comebefore the rose is finished.'” This is repeated and gives theNightingale’s sacrifice a deserved emphasis. In addition to repetitionof speech Wilde also uses repetition to stress other clauses, “Bitter,bitter was the pain, and wilder and wilder grew her song”.
In “The Nightingale and the Rose” personification is used habitually.In the quote above we see how “the Tree” and “Day” are personified….
…h to the great price paid by the Nightingale toproduce the only red rose. And the rose is thrown onto the ground,falls in the gutter and run over by a cArtwheel. This exaggerates theignorance of society. “‘What a silly thing Love isaˆ¦'” comments theStudent as he returns to a “great dusty book”.
In this deep story the Nightingale represents Wilde, the Studentrepresents the ignorant society and the rose represents the artisticcreation. Oscar Wilde himself being an artist in the way of writer,poet and art lecturer, criticises society’s lack of appreciation forthe arts. He uses a fairy story to reflect on modern life by using theillustration of the tale to portray his view. “‘The Nightingale andthe Rose’ deals not only with the nature of romance and true love butalso with art and the sacrifice of the artist.”