The Nightingale and the Rose

by

Oscar Wilde

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The girl appears only briefly in "The Nightingale and the Rose," but she is vital to the story’s plot and themes. The daughter of the Professor, she embodies unfeeling materialism. Having told the Student that she will dance with him if he brings her a red rose, she later goes back on her word because a wealthier suitor has provided her with jewels. The girl's surroundings further underscore her shallow nature, since the silk she is spinning and the toy dog she owns are both luxury commodities.

The girl Quotes in The Nightingale and the Rose

The The Nightingale and the Rose quotes below are all either spoken by The girl or refer to The girl. For each quote, you can also see the other characters and themes related to it (each theme is indicated by its own dot and icon, like this one:
Love and Sacrifice Theme Icon
). Note: all page numbers and citation info for the quotes below refer to the Signet edition of The Nightingale and the Rose published in 2008.
The Nightingale and the Rose Quotes

Surely Love is a wonderful thing. It is more precious than emeralds, and dearer than fine opals. Pearls and pomegranates cannot buy it, nor is it set forth in the market-place. It may not be purchased of the merchants, nor can it be weighed out in the balance for gold.

Related Characters: The Nightingale (speaker), The girl
Related Symbols: The Red Rose
Page Number: 16
Explanation and Analysis:

The daughter of the Professor was sitting in the doorway winding blue silk on a reel, and her little dog was lying at her feet.

Related Characters: The girl
Related Symbols: Silk
Page Number: 19
Explanation and Analysis:
Get the entire The Nightingale and the Rose LitChart as a printable PDF.
The Nightingale and the Rose PDF

The girl Character Timeline in The Nightingale and the Rose

The timeline below shows where the character The girl appears in The Nightingale and the Rose. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
The Nightingale and the Rose
Love and Sacrifice Theme Icon
Art and Idealism Theme Icon
Materialism, Intellectualism, and Emotion Theme Icon
...lamenting the fact that all his learning is useless since it can't win him the girl's love. His beauty and sorrow, however, impress the Nightingale, who has spent all her life... (full context)
Love and Sacrifice Theme Icon
Art and Idealism Theme Icon
Materialism, Intellectualism, and Emotion Theme Icon
The Student continues to bemoan his unrequited love, imagining in great detail how the girl will pass him by at the Prince's ball unless he finds a rose for her.... (full context)
Love and Sacrifice Theme Icon
Materialism, Intellectualism, and Emotion Theme Icon
The Student plucks the rose and takes it to the girl at her father's (the Professor's) house. When he arrives, the girl is sitting outside spinning... (full context)
Love and Sacrifice Theme Icon
Materialism, Intellectualism, and Emotion Theme Icon
In response, the Student huffs that the girl is "ungrateful," and throws the rose into the street to be run over by a... (full context)