In the title of the novel, The name of the Rose, by Umberto Eco, the Ã¢ÂÂroseÃ¢ÂÂ can signify many ideas. By making this the title of the book, Eco has attracted the attention of a reader because it suggests a number of things. A rose can be all of nature, the most beautiful of it, a girl, etc. Just as the title suggests several answers, so can the implications in the novel.
ÃÂÃ ÃÂÃ ÃÂÃ ÃÂÃ ÃÂÃ ÃÂÃ ÃÂÃ ÃÂÃ The rose can be the Church, the richest and most powerful organization in the entire world. As each of its most devoted die, a little bit of the doctrine is forgotten until the Ã¢ÂÂname becomes bareÃ¢ÂÂ, it can no longer be understood as its whole. In return, the most learned abbey in Europe burns to the ground, much like the martyrs it exalted.
ÃÂÃ ÃÂÃ ÃÂÃ ÃÂÃ ÃÂÃ ÃÂÃ ÃÂÃ ÃÂÃ Instead of seeing the deaths for what they are (just random acts, committed by several people, not one depraved person, but individual curious ones) William goes on wild goose chases, i.e.
trying to find AdelmoÃ¢ÂÂs murderer before realizing that it was a suicide. He looks for evidence that simply is not there, then finding the next real clue, usually a body, searches in vain for what he wants to be the truth. Blinded by what he thinks is true, instead of what is right in front of his face, he searches and searches not judging by Ã¢ÂÂnamesÃ¢ÂÂ so much as placing the wrong meaning on them.
ÃÂÃ ÃÂÃ ÃÂÃ ÃÂÃ ÃÂÃ ÃÂÃ ÃÂÃ ÃÂÃ Near the end of the novel, William gives Adso the following advise Ã¢ÂÂ Fear prophets, Adso, and those prepared to die for the truthÃ¢ÂÂ¦he loved his truth so lewdly that he dared do anything to destroy falsehoodÃ¢ÂÂ¦the truth lies in learning to free ourselves from insane passion for truthÃ¢ÂÂ (491). Thus, the theme of the novel is the truth. William searches for it and searches for it, and finally finds it when, infuriated, he sees the clues for what they really mean, instead of what they desired them to mean.
ÃÂÃ ÃÂÃ ÃÂÃ ÃÂÃ ÃÂÃ ÃÂÃ ÃÂÃ ÃÂÃ Semiotics teaches that each element is meaningless until it is differentiated from the other elements. This can be applied several places in the novel, first as each death cannot be solved on it own, but only in conjunction with the other murders. In addition, William singles out the library as the common denominating factor not, for example, sleeping quarters or the Church.
ÃÂÃ ÃÂÃ ÃÂÃ ÃÂÃ ÃÂÃ ÃÂÃ ÃÂÃ ÃÂÃ The title Ã¢ÂÂThe Name of the RoseÃ¢ÂÂ can apply in this fashion: William comes across a bud, as he searches for clues, the petals continue falling off, as the rose dies, when enough petals have dropped, he can see what makes the flower. The petals are there to reveal the truth, to those who are in search of it. The petals are there to draw attention to what is important.
ÃÂÃ ÃÂÃ ÃÂÃ ÃÂÃ ÃÂÃ ÃÂÃ ÃÂÃ ÃÂÃ The novel must be taken in its entirety, not just in pieces to understand it. A rose, to understand itÃ¢ÂÂs beauty, cannot be taken apart, but must be seen as a whole. Differentiating the parts, one can understand their function. Moreover, it is the rose itself that is important because as Shakespeare says, Ã¢ÂÂthat which we call a rose, by any other name would smell as sweetÃ¢ÂÂ. The name is not what is important; it is what the rose is, plus what it can signify.