Literary Essay: “The Third Wish”
Joan Aiken’s short story, “The Third Wish,” tells a story of a man named Mr. Peters who one day comes across a swan tangled in thorns and struggling to be free. After freeing the bird he is greeted by a king who grants the man three wishes and gives the man three leaves to make the wishes with. His first wish is a wife, and the kings gives him a wife. Later on, the wife becomes depressed and tells the man that she was a swan before and wanted to be back with her sister. He uses his second wish to turn his wife back into a swan, and releases her back into the pond. He does not use his third wish after that for a while. Joan Aikens uses several craft elements frequently throughout his piece. Three main elements that stood out to me were imagery, descriptive details, and poetic devices.
Imagery is used very often in “The Third Wish”. Joan Aiken frequently uses imagery in his writing piece. Imagery can describe how the man wants things he does not need and takes things others do not want. Joan Aikens shows his use with Imagery in certain ways that help prove his theme and help readers get a better understanding of the theme and purpose of his writing. One piece from the text on page (105) is, “He stooped down and kissed her goodbye, then took another leaf from his notecase, blew it out of the window, and used up his second wish. Next moment instead of Leita there was a sleeping swan lying across the bed with it’s head under it’s wing,” This piece of evidence from Aiken’s piece shows that not everybody wants what you want, and just because you want it does not mean you need it. The wife that the man was granted with, was living a miserable life while she was his wife as a human, because that time was spent doing whatever the man wanted her to do. Another piece from the text that shows imagery is, “But I miss the old life in the forest, the cool grass and the mist rising off the river at sunrise and the feel of the water sliding over my feathers as my sister and I drifted along the stream” (105). This piece of evidence shows that not everyone around the man wants exactly what he does. His unwilling wife was miserable while doing exactly what Mr. Peters asked for. The man did