There are several elements that make up a fairy tale. Some of these elements are specific details that so picky that a story’s interpretation can be reversed into a completely different meaning. One of the most famous elements within fairy tale literature is the rose. The rose has been a long time symbol of romance and love. However there are many types of different roses and some species are only native to certain areas. Then besides the fact of species and location, one must also take into account color symbolism as well, which also varies by culture.
These definitions of this age old symbol, the rose, evolved over time as cultures came into contact with what has now called the Language of the Flowers. This “language” first appeared in the East and was used as a form of silent communication between illiterate women in harems. During the Victorian era this form of communication began to move towards Western Europe. The first compilation of this language was written in French and then was later translated into English. (Seaton, ).The Victorians used this new method of communication to express love, sorrow and much more through the flowers that they cultivated and bought. This language of flowers or rather the use of flowers to symbolize different messages can certainly influence a story if one has knowledge of this method and chooses to interpret it in this manner.
Three fairy tales that contain the element of the rose(s) are The Rose-Elf by Hans Christian Anderson, Alice in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll, and Beauty and the Beast by Mme Le Prince de Beaumont. The interpretation of the details within a fairy tale can change the meaning or purpose of a tale. The understanding of the meaning of a rose in a story can give a bett...
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...true meaning of the rose can be found in its condition, color and type. The meaning or the definition of the rose or roses can be found in the language of the flowers (aka floriography) and can change a major ideal in the life of a character and an author.
Seaton, Beverly. The Language of Flowers: A History: Victorian Literature and Culture Series. Charlottesville and London: University Press of London, 1995. Print.
Greenaway, Kate. Language of Flowers. New York: Dover Publications, 1992. Print.
Connolly, Shane. The Secret Language of Flowers. New York: Rizzoli International Publications, 2004. Print.
Anderson, Hans. Wonderful Stories for Children. London: Chapman and Hall 186 Strand, 1846. 64-75. eBook.
Griffith, John, and Charles Frey. Classics of Children's Literature. 6th ed. New Jersey: Pearson Prentice Hall, 2005. 21-29, 322-374. Print.