Review of the story “The Nightingale and the Rose” by Oscar Wilde

The Nightingale and the Rose is a beautiful and heart-melting story written by Oscar Wilde. It is about a nightingale who gives her life for the sake of love and humanity, for a young boy who is in love. The boy was a student who wanted to get a rose to give to the girl he loved, his professor’s daughter and wanted a red rose to give to the girl, for she would only dance with him if he did. The nightingale dies making the red rose from the blood of her heart, in the thought that love is the greatest and that the boy’s heart is more important than her own.

The story talks about how a boy was sad just for a rose and a nightingale died just for a rose. The story is very interesting as it is basically centralized in the rose. Furthermore, the story amazingly shows how one moment, the rose was very special, made from a strong, willing sacrifice, for not just the happiness of someone but representing the love in the world, but the next moment, the rose was thrown as if of no importance by that someone who showed the most desperate need of love, someone who the beautiful sacrifice was made for. The sad part is that the story leaves the rose meaningless in the hands of the young boy when the girl he loved refused to take the rose and dance with him. In the end, the story concludes with this saying from the young boy; “Love is a very silly thing” which is heartbreaking as it does not give justice to the nightingale’s act.

No, I don’t think love is a silly thing. Love is a very strong and powerful bond. If understood and perceived right, love is the most positive and strong force in the world that keeps everyone alive and going. In the story, the ‘love’ between the girl and the boy wasn’t love, in my opinion. If it was, the girl would not have wanted something from the boy to dance with him or cared if the rose matched her clothes and jewels. Love includes empathy and appreciation. Also, the boy wouldn’t have thrown the flower like that or left the girl with such anger and easily if it was love. Love is a strong bond. The only character who truly understands love in this story is the bird. The nightingale had a special bond and sympathy with the boy due to which she wasn’t afraid to die. She knew the power of love and how her attempt could lead to the happiness of the boy. Also, there is indeed a huge meaning behind the formation of the rose, had he understood love, the boy would care and nourish the rose. The rose represents love in the story. It was made from someone’s (the bird’s) true devotion and will. It was made with positive energy, the thought of the importance of someone’s happiness, and a willing sacrifice. The redness of the rose, made with the bird’s blood from the heart, represented the color of love that is true from the heart. The bird’s beautiful voice, full of love songs that had kept going on with the same, beautiful melody even seconds before her end had given life to the rose representing the power of love. Every inch of the rose had the full power of the nightingale’s beautiful sacrifice, done for the sake of love and life. So, love is not a silly thing. 

-Azapa Thani

Grade – 7

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