The Frog and the Nightingale

by Vikram Seth
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In "The Frog and the Nightingale," discuss how each main character can represent a sizable section of modern society.

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To a great extent, I think that one's answer to this question is going to be dependent on how a person views society.  On one hand, if one sees society and people as inherently capable of evil and malevolence, then I think that the natural inclination is to suggest that there are more of the "frogs" in our society.  These individuals would be envious of the talent of others and would not seek to rather gain from the experiences of these talented individuals, but rather seek to eliminate them from the discourse.  The "frogs" in our society do not find a sense of power from inclusion, but rather feel power when they are able to silence those who might possess more or different talents than they do.  By definition, if there are those who are "frogs" and are threatened by those who possess talent, then there would have to be sections of our society that would be akin to the "nightingales."  These individuals have talent and find themselves susceptible to the "frogs."  Unlike the character in the Seth poem, I think that the message that emerges from the poem is that the "nightingales" in our society have to recognize that they will be the target of others' envy and cannot enable themselves to become victim to this, as the nightingale in the poem did.  I think that the message that comes out of the poem is that the relationship that forms between the "frogs" in modern society and the "nightingales" is one rooted in difficulty and challenge, and one in which the latter should be vigilant of how the former views them.

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