Purpose of The Vase of Clay Story by Jean Aicard

Pages: 2
Words: 562

The Vase of Clay is a profound and ambiguous work by Jean Aicard. In order to understand the message and purpose of the narrative, it is necessary to delve a little deeper into the plot. By this phrase, I mean the need to feel the imagery the writer communicates to his reader. At the beginning of the story, the exposition is that of a young man, Jean, living in a beautiful land in the shade of an olive tree. Needless to say, the first thought that comes to mind as the reading begins is the parallel between the writer and his lyrical hero. So far, this parallel is drawn at the level of the similarity of names. The exposition of the work is not static, nor is the lyricist himself. It can be compared to the beginning of a romantic film about simple-minded love, where the reader is immersed in the atmosphere of the protagonist’s life.

Considerable attention is given to the worldview of Jean – he sees beauty in nature and subtly feels his connection to it. Jean’s connection to nature is hinted at by his comparison of young girls’ lips and cheeks to roses and raspberries. In this way, he transfers the usual associations with nature to the human environment. The exposition closes with a description of the love drama of the lyrical hero (Aicard, n.d.). In this way, the author deepens his image and makes it closer to the reader.

It is as if he is showing the other side of Jean’s cheerful and carefree life, pointing out the ambivalence of imagined happiness. The existence of two sides of the same coin is a thread that runs through the entire work and is revealed at the end with a final chord. It is the fall of the perfect vase – the collapse of the dream for which Jean abandoned the contemplation of women’s lips and cheeks, the pursuit of his favorite occupation, and the cultivation of beautiful, fertile fields.

This story, written in the late 19th and early 20th centuries, is still strikingly relevant today. The main aim of the performance was to convey to the audience that every choice always has consequences. On the one hand, Jean had a quiet and comfortable life, which he recklessly abandoned, chasing the dream of creating a perfectly shaped vase. On the other hand, the question of whether Jean’s life would have had purpose and meaning without that dream remains open. The piece’s beauty lies in the fact that it does not provide a clear answer as to whether stability or infatuation is better. It merely suggests that in the pursuit of an ideal, one can lose what one has already gained.

Another purpose of the piece is to show that ideals are fragile. They can crumble in an instant, leaving behind nothing but bitterness about the time wasted. The master, on the other hand, is not so much concerned with the result as with the process. Jean was passionate about his vase, he lived for it and cherished the thought of it. That is why he was happy to show his creation to the sun and not at all upset that no one else would see it. To trust the process and himself or to work for speed and audience is the choice this work puts in front of the reader.


Aicard, J. (n.d.). The Vase of Clay.