The Rose - a puzzlement
Written by Ann2
(4/14/2003 3:30 p.m.)
in consequence of the missive, GR-Flowers (first post), penned by KateL
] ] I've been thinking about this some more, and could it be that Catherine has indeed learned to love, and it is Henry she has learned to love. ...
This was the meaning I gave it too but without any clever reason. The education theories are very interesting. Catherine's eyes are certainly being opened to new values in life and very much so, thanks to the Tilney siblings. Henry even chuses the method burn your hand(eg search the cabinet for laundry bills) and discover your silliness.
] For the later Victorians anyway, there were entire books devoted to the "Language of Flowers" and among the many meanings of hyacinths were "constancy" and "unobtrusive loveliness...I can certainly see Catherine taking the hint when Henry suggests he'd like to teach her more about the meaning of a rose...
From what I know, there are several meanings to the rose over the centuries.
While it was grown in monastries because of medicinal uses, the ancient greeks saw it as a symbol of innocent youth, of life in bloom. It was then the flower of Aphrodite, godess of love. The Romans however came to look upon it (Cicero)as connected to a life of idleness and depravation.
Later on it was connected to the worship of saints, the rose turned into a symbol of the Virgin Mary.
During the Middle Ages it was obviously used by bride and bridegroom in wreaths and by the nuns also(heaven's brides) when they joined the convent.
Through the ages roses have been cultivated in great numbers because of the many uses man have assigned them.
How are we to decide what Henry was thinking? Is there a particular symbolism in Georgian times?