The short story “The Nightingale and The Rose” is written by Oscar Wilde. Wilde is from Dublin, Ireland (now). He is famous for his witty style, satirical comedies, flamboyant writing techniques, and skepticism.
His notable works are novels; The Picture of Dorian Grey, The Importance of Being Earnest, and his short stories;
The Nightingale and the Rose, and The Happy Prince and other Tales. He is an Irish writer in the Victorian Age; he had been in prison for two years being accused of homosexuality. Wilde was deeply committed to aestheticism; he tried to use the art of aestheticism in each of his work, his last poem “The Ballad of Reading Gaol” was written by him in his imprisonment.
The Nightingale and the rose is the story of a boy who wanted to take his love of life to a ball party. But the girl demanded that the boy must present a red rose in order to take her to the party. The boy was sad and complaining in his room when he sees no red rose and only white roses in the garden. His plight has sorrows and his cries were appealing God to give him a chance. A nightingale was there in the garden and heard the sigh of the boy.
Thus in order to unite true love, she made a great sacrifice, gave her life by pressing her heart against the throne to shower her blood on the white rose to turn it into the red. But her sacrifice eventually got waste when the boy presented the rose and the girl preferred diamonds over the sacrifice for true love. This story symbolizes the materialism, selfishness, selflessness for fond of love and human nature of idealism which is dominant in the Victorian society.
The story was written basically for children in 1888, but it is a story in which depth of love and objectives of love are discussed. Wilde has significantly expressed the terms and consequences of love; it must be sacrificial, vexatious and deadly. True love is actually depicted in this story by Nightingale; she values it, understands it at a quite intellectual level and gifted her life for the sake of an adorable union between real lovers.
The opening lines of the story by boy illustrate the situation of young aged philosophy student, who had knowledge about everything, read every word of a renowned and great wise man, but a small rose had created a kind of turbulence in his life. It’s not the size of rose that had been the issue for him, but the colour of the rose matters most.
The protagonist of the story is in deep love with a girl, and she simply asked him for a red rose and then she would go with him for the prince’s ball. It was one and the only condition, seemingly condition was not very difficult to be fulfilled by any common man, but the fate of the young boy was not supportive.
He had a garden, full with trees that were covered with roses but to his defective luck, all the roses were in white colour. He felt anxious and depressed when he realized that having no red rose means his lady love will not accompany him. He was blessed to have all the things in his life but he was lamenting his luck to have no love in his life.
These expressions and groaning were hinting at his loyalty and his deep understanding of love, this sigh of pain for not having love was showing that he had great respect for moral values and gave the same importance to love, which it truly deserves. The young lover was hopeless and was in pain for this helplessness. He had scary thoughts for being futile in his lover’s life; he couldn’t bring a single red rose for his beloved, he couldn’t manage to fulfil her wish and make her happy. He was thinking about the consequences and getting nervous.
“’ Here, at last, is the true lover,’ said the Nightingale.” This sentence portrays the presence of other living beings like birds, insects, reptiles and flowers. Nightingale is the other major character in the story. She was sitting on the bark of the tree and was listening to complains of the boy. There were other characters present in the garden, such as Oak-Tree, Green Lizard, Butterfly, and Daisy. They all were inquiring about the desire of a young boy.
Nightingale replied to them that the boy wanted a red rose for his lover. All were shocked and considered the boy as a fool for crying at such tiny and useless thing. But Nightingale could understand the pain of love, the doom of separation, the passion of tenderness. She asked many trees for a red rose but every tree has a different colour and refused to give.
She was the only creature who could see the strength of affection and the tears from the boy’s eyes that were grasping Nightingale scrutiny to provide him with a red rose. Now it was not only about the red rose, but it was also about the boy’s life. There were many undecided plans, such as the boy, may be with a broken heart, would commit suicide. Maybe he would get paralyzed for his whole life for not being able to gift a rose.
There were so many reasons which led the Nightingale to save his life. She hadn’t seen such a true lover in her life, that’s why she made efforts to unite the couple; it would be her eternal satisfaction to see them together. In all her life, finally, she was able to witness the purity of love, and adorable connection of a couple and how hard the time hit on them when they were distant from each other, still remembering the moments and calling the good times.
The minutes and hours in which they were able to see each other, in which they sang love songs for the other turned into a time when they were crying to fulfil the utmost desire of the other. The cries coming from the heart of the boy were surrounding Nightingale and she determined to bring him a red rose at any cost.
There are certain personifications used in the short story to strengthen the images for the reader. After the dramatic opening, nightingale in the story asked three trees of a different colour for a red rose. The first tree associated its flowers with the “foam of sea”, “snow on mountains”, while the second tree-related its flowers to “hair of mermaiden”, “yellower than daffodils”, both the trees suggested to go to their brother tree for what she wanted, she would likely get there.
The third tree produced red roses but in the “winter, storm, and frost”, it would not produce any red rose. Its veins were These weather conditions point towards the coldness of behaviours in the society. It is though a natural phenomenon but people get affected by dark and cold thoughts.
The winters are extreme part to get worried, everything freezes and every living creature is dying for sunlight. So is with the power of love. The boy is about to lose his life and only sunshine for him is to have a red rose. Nightingale decided to become that minute sun ray which could vanish the darkest beams of despair.