What is the moral and conclusion of the poem "The Frog and the Nightingale" by Vikram Seth?

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amymc's profile pic

Posted on

The poem's moral is stated in the poem by the villainous frog himself:

Well, poor bird – she should have known
That your song must be your own.

The nightingale, when she first arrived in the bog, had a beautiful, original voice that all the bog loved.  She enjoyed her singing; it made her happy.  The frog, jealous and greedy, seized upon her innocence and found a way to both make money and to rid himself of his competition.  

He took her talent and attempt to perfect it. In a sense, he attempted to fix what wasn't broken.  He made singing unpleasant for her, forced her into multiple practice sessions in poor conditions.  Finally, these sessions killed her.

There will always be someone willing to take away a person's beauty and joy.  Most people do not understand that a coach is pushing for personal fame or a parent is pushing to relive his youth through a child until it is too late.  The result could be hatred of a sport one first loved, injury, or even death.

thetall's profile pic

Posted on

In the conclusion, the frog comes out clearly stating its intentions in a sarcastic and evil manner. By stating that

I tried to teach her,
But she was a stupid creature -
Far too nervous, far too tense.
Far too prone to influence.

The frog is being sarcastic stating that the nightingale had it coming because she came and took over the frog’s territory with regard to singing. The frog used the nightingale’s stupidity against her which as stated came with the bird being too prone to influence. If the nightingale believed that what she delivered was good (as confirmed by the other animals) then she should have rejected the unnecessary influence from the frog. The nightingale had never heard the frog put on a performance or even heard any of the animals praising the frog, so why would the nightingale believe in the frog’s prowess?

The nightingale failed to own its success and agreed to be influenced by a “fake” expert who was ruthless enough to lead it to its demise.

It is important for someone to own their success; not all advice is valid, and sometimes it could be intended for your destruction.


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