Themes

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Last Updated on March 5, 2020, by eNotes Editorial. Word Count: 275

Maurice Maeterlinck’s play “The Blue Bird” follows two children as they learn contentment and how to find the true joys in life. At Christmastime, the children are marveling at the beautiful decorations and delicious looking treats at the house of a wealthy neighbor. Soon, however, they experience the embodiments of various luxuries and joys, and through their observations, they begin to understand the true meaning of happiness.

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Envy

When watching the extravagant feast in the nearby house, the fairy Berylune asks the children if they’re jealous, because it is wrong for the wealthy not to share their cakes with them. The children reply that they’re not envious of what the rich neighbors have. To Tyltyl, it is simply joyful to see another person enjoying happiness, and their wealth does not inspire jealousy in him.

Finding Joy

At one point, the children see the physical embodiments of various luxuries and joys. The luxuries are actually hideous and try to hide in the shadows. The hideous nature of the luxuries represents their impurity: extravagance is useless and is the opposite of contentment and true happiness. After that, the children see the embodiment of several small joys, such as seeing the stars. This helps the children later take joy in simple events and makes them more observant and caring.

Contentment

The moral of this story is that being content and enjoying the simple, beautiful things in life will bring about true happiness and joy. The wealth and extravagance don’t bring any additional benefit or joy. It is this lesson that the children take away, and they enjoy their lives after the events of the play more deeply.

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