Character of Young Student in The Nightingale and the Rose

The story “The Nightingale and the Rose” is written by OscarWilde. It was published in 1888 in a collection of children’s story named as The Happy Prince and the Other Tales. The theme of materialism vs love is explored by the human characters where the young student plays a vital role.

If you are too lazy to read watch the video of the same content; or you can continue reading.

Let’s explore what the lines of the short story tells about his character: When you write answers for academic purposes, please do not follow this structure; this way is used to explain the character better.

“but in all my garden there is no red rose.”

The writer may compare the garden to his life where no flowers grow. It suggests the lack of emotional capacity in the student. He deceives himself about love introducing love depends on material things like a rose.

“Ah, on what little things does happiness depend! I have read all that the wise men have written, and all the secrets of philosophy are mine, yet for want of a red rose is my life made wretched.”

He claims that all he had learnt is not enough to win the heart of his beloved. He sighs proclaiming that happiness depends on little things - not by the education and knowledge. This statement questions his emotional capacity and the system of education which cannot give an answer to a problem related to sentimental thing like love. Further, this statement shows that he is an easy giver up. He has already lost the battle of winning the heart of his beloved.

“If I bring her a red rose, I shall hold her in my arms, and she will lean her head upon my shoulder, and her hand will be clasped in mine.”

The explanation clearly states the estimate of love on the side of the young student. He has misunderstood the infatuation (the attraction) to love. He worries of failing to fulfill his emotional desires. Further, he is much worried about what he is going to miss if he cannot bring a red rose. This transactional nature is commonly seen in the material world. (It is like you give some money to get something.)

“The Student looked up from the grass, and listened, but he could not understand what the Nightingale was saying to him, for he only knew the things that are written down in books.”

Failing to understand the voice of the nature raises the issue of insensitivity and mechanical thinking. The writer is critical about the education of his time which had no space for spiritual values. This further shows the impractical nature of the young student who has only learnt things in the books.

“She has form… but has she got feeling? I am afraid not… She is like most artists; she is all style without any sincerity. She would not sacrifice herself for others.”

The thinking of the young man reveals that he is judgmental about elements of nature. (it might be because of his education) He seems to be learning much philosophical subjects rather than aesthetical subjects. He criticizes the nature and arts as a ‘style without any sincerity’. Readers can see that his judgements are all wrong about the Nightingale whom sacrifices her emotions and blood for what she believes in; as well as, she utilizes her art (singing) as a medium to impart emotions to the rose. The statement further shows the hollow space in the heart of the young man which belongs to emotions.

“Well, upon my word, you are very ungrateful,’ said the Student angrily; and he threw the rose into the street, where it fell into the gutter, and a cart-wheel went over it.”

His behavior writes an epilogue to what we have discussed earlier. His sense of materialism disappoints him as he lost the bargain. (He expected her to come when he produced the flower) Next, he throws the true symbol of love not knowing the humble sacrifice of the little bird behind it. That, in a way shows his nature of easy-giving up and ill-judgement of love.

“What a silly thing Love is,’ said the Student as he walked away. ‘It is not half as useful as Logic, for it does not prove anything… In fact, it is quite unpractical, and, as in this age to be practical is everything,”

The student contrasts love to his education. He sees love is void of logic and practicality. He does not understand that spiritual things like: true love cannot be measured. This further shows his materialistic nature and the cause behind his mindset.(his education of course!) This further suggests his callow and immature nature about human emotions which easily undergo changes.

“So he returned to his room and pulled out a great dusty book, and began to read.”

His return to his former way of life suggest that he is a stagnant character who is not going to be changed. Further, it raises the universal theme of materialism vs spiritual love which continues through generations.

There are more quotations which are overlapping to the same points therefore, they are purposely omitted, hope you can find them if you read the story closely. You may have many ideas to raise. I appreciate if you write them in the comment section. You can subscribe to the blog to receive the new posts right into your mail inbox. Share the post if you find it useful.

You may also like to read:

Material Love vs Spiritual Love,The Nightingale and the Rose by Oscar Wild.

Summary of The Nightingale and the Rose by Oscar Wilde.

The Character of Nightingale in The Nightingale and the Roseby Oscar Wilde.

Themes and Literary Techniques Found in The Nightingale and The Rose

Post a Comment