'The Nightingale and the Rose' by Oscar Wilde
'Nineteenth Century Short Stories' is a collection of tales from the nineteen hundreds. This essay will concentrate on just one of these stories. It will include a thorough analysis of the story including my views and opinions towards the language, imagery and setting that the author uses.
The story I have chosen to analyse is 'The Nightingale and the Rose', by Oscar Wilde. This is one of many children's stories that he wrote, as he is well known to have 'used the form of fairy tale to reflect on modern life and to debate ideas'.
'The Nightingale and the Rose' is a very poignant story following the theme of love. The theme is conveyed in this story through the actions of the Nightingale. It demonstrates how one life would sacrifice itself in order to make another happy. From the Nightingale's point of view, this is a tragically ironic story. For she thinks that the Student must be a 'true lover' - she thinks that he would give anything for one night with the Professor's daughter.
'She said that she would dance with me if I brought her red roses...yet for want of a red rose is my life made wretched', the Nightingale hears him cry; and on this evidence alone she bases her opinion: 'Here at last is a true lover.' When in fact the only feelings the Student has for the Professor's daughter are those of material love. He is only interested in her beauty. He says to himself 'She has form - that cannot be denied to her' but then he says 'She would not sacrifice herself for others', which is exactly what the Nightingale is about to do for him. She is willing to sacrifice her life for love; for the Student to be able to spend one night with the girl he supposedly admires. An interesting point to note is when the Student mentions that the Professor's daughter 'has some beautiful notes in her voice. What a pity it is that they do not mean anything, or do any practical good.' Now Nightingal...