The Name of the Rose

by Umberto Eco

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Did the peasant girl in The Name of the Rose die?

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The nameless girl who Adso loves has an unknown fate in this incredible novel. After being rescued from the flames for being, supposedly, a "witch," she remains by the abbey and forces Adso to chose between a life dedicated to chastity and learning and a life spent as a normal man, satisfying his carnal desires through union with her. She is an undeveloped character whose purpose in the novel (as one of the only women) seems to be based more on the allure she represents that threatens the purity of Adso rather than anything else. Although the ending of the story tells us the fate of William and his death at the hands of the plague, no similar fate of the girl is mentioned, and she drifts out of history much as she drifted into it, with hardly anybody being aware of her absence, except for Adso, who spends many hours wondering what his life would have been like had he stayed with her. 

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