In Oscar Wilde's "The Nightingale and the Rose," what are the social backgrounds of the characters? How is the problem caused/created? How is the conflict resolved?

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thanatassa | College Teacher | (Level 1) Distinguished Educator

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Oscar Wilde's "The Nightingale and the Rose" is a short story, written almost in the form of a parable, about a student who is in love with a young woman, the daughter of a professor, and a nightingale who loves the student. The characters are not named, and the description of their background is fairly limited. The young woman appears to be quite wealthy and materialistic. Her wealth is epitomized by her clothing and her being invited to the Prince's ball. The student appears less wealthy than the Chamberlain's son, and thus is not the favored lover of the girl. 

The main conflict in the story is that the girl has promised to dance with the student if he finds a red rose for her, but the student cannot find a red rose. The nightingale, trying to please the student, kills herself to color a rose red for the student.

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