The Disciple (Wilde)

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The Disciple
Summary of the Short Story
Microsummary: A pool mourned the death of a beautiful youth, who used to admire his own reflection in the water, and the pool realized it loved him because it saw its own beauty in his eyes.
When Narcissus passed away, the pool where he used to admire his own reflection transformed from a source of sweet waters into a pool filled with salt tears.

When Narcissus died the pool of his pleasure changed from a cup of sweet waters into a cup of salt tears.

The Oreads, nymphs of the mountains and grottoes, came to the pool weeping, intending to comfort it with their songs.

Narcissus — beautiful youth; admired his own reflection in the pool.
The Pool — narrator; mourned Narcissus' death; saw its own beauty in his eyes.
The Oreads — woodland nymphs; wept for Narcissus and tried to comfort the pool.

Upon seeing the pool's transformation, the Oreads expressed their understanding of its grief, as Narcissus was indeed very beautiful. They mentioned how Narcissus would always pass them by, but he would seek the pool to lie on its banks and admire his reflection in its waters.

The pool, however, questioned Narcissus' beauty.

But was Narcissus beautiful? said the pool.

The Oreads were surprised by this and asked the pool who would know Narcissus' beauty better than itself, as it was the very mirror in which he admired his reflection. The pool then revealed that it loved Narcissus not because of his beauty, but because when he looked into the pool, the pool could see its own beauty reflected in his eyes.