The Frog and the Nightingale

581 Words3 Pages
In the story "The Frog and the Nightingale," by Vikram Seth, the main character is a frog who croaks all night, and the creatures nearby suffer his "noise." No amount of discouragement can stop him. One day a beautiful nightingale comes and sings, and everyone is delighted. Not used to the applause, she is thrilled, and returns again. The frog decides— even though her voice is loved—to offer her critical advice. The frog doesn't know what he is talking about, but the less experienced nightingale takes his words to heart and tries to change. The crowds still come, and by now, the frog is charging admission. The frog drives the bird to work harder, though the joy of singing is starting to fade; the crowd misses her passion. One more time she pushes harder than ever, but it is too much and she dies. The frog is not at all sympathetic. He says she should have listened to her own voice rather than being like someone else—except this has been his advice to her all along. In searching for satire, this addresses those who hold a certain place in society, who are not overly talented, but are tolerated (frog). When someone new arrives on the scene (the bird), the first guy tries to take the attention away from her gift and imposes his actions/manners onto her. The frog represents a person who tells others that he knows the best way to behave. He rides the wave of success in the shadow of this new person, but he is a taker. He offers no words of encouragement; he perpetually demands that the other work harder and harder. Naive, the other person follows directions, but loses joy in the life he/she used to have—now trying to live up to someone else's expectations. Her sacrifices mean nothing: the "instructor" only demands more, and when she "dies" or fails, he sweeps her aside, noting her silliness, and expressing the theme of the poem... Well, poor bird—she should
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