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One Perfect Rose

One Perfect Rose

by Dorothy Parker

Women and Femininity Theme

Guys often send their girlfriends flowers because, well, girls like flowers. At least, that's always been the expected way this works. But sometimes that part of being a woman gets kind of lame. It's almost like guys have decided that the only thing they can ever send girls is flowers. The speaker of this poem uses the rose as a way to reflect on some of the difficulties of being a woman. Just because she's a girl, doesn't mean she doesn't want other things (hello, a limousine!). The whole girls-love-flowers thing is a stereotype about women, and "One Perfect Rose" wants to destroy it!

Questions About Women and Femininity

  1. What is significant about the fact that the woman can understand the flower's language? What does this say about women in general?
  2. Is it possible that the speaker is just pretending to be a girl who doesn't want any more flowers? Why or why not?
  3. In what ways might this poem criticize stereotypes of women in love? 
  4. Do you know other women who share the speaker's attitude about flowers?

Chew on This

Try on an opinion or two, start a debate, or play the devil’s advocate.

Things can be tough for women. Who would want to only ever receive flowers? Ugh, nobody ever.

Au contraire. Women are naturally closer to nature than men. The speaker, for example, can understand the flower's language.

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