Symbolism In The Indian Lily

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“The Indian Lily,” by Herman Sudermann tells the story of Richard Niebeldingk’s love life through the literary device of metonymy. The metonymy can be seen in the Indian lilies that he sends to his past conquests. Niebeldingk sends the lilies as a means to say, “In spite of what has taken place you are as lofty as sacred in my eyes as these pale, alien flowers whose home is beside the Ganges. Therefore have the kindness-not to annoy me with remorse” (331), which is to say thank you for the evening please do not contact me again. He also says that, “I give them as a symbol of my chaste and desireless admiration” (333), which means he has no desire to further the relation. The frequency to which he sends out his Indian lilies shows his sexual prowess, and unwillingness to marry, as can be seen in the quote, “Go to the florist and order a bunch of Indian lilies. The man knows what I mean. If he hasn 't any, let him procure some by noon” (330). But the sending of flowers can also send the wrong message to his conquests as index of Miss Meta. The Indian lilies also represent his lack of a home, because of his bachelor life. Miscommunication and lost time is a hug part of this story. The woman that we see in the story most effected by Niebeldingk is Alice a smart woman who lives in a small second-floor apartment on the Regentenstrasse. Alice is one of the only conquests of Niebeldingk’s that he still contacts and continues physical intimacy with, which is a contradiction of what
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