In class this week we read stories about written by the author Hans Christian Anderson. His stories had a much different feel then most of the other fairytales we have read this year. His fairytales did not conclude with happy endings like most of the other fairy tales we have read, but rather with demoralizing conclusions that leave the reader empathetic to a tragic occurrence. His fairy tales that we read both had overlying themes of trying to achieve an almost unobtainable goal of self-betterment. In the little mermaid the main character tries to become a human but ultimately fails and in the red shoes the main character tries to get red shoes like the princess but that ultimately lead to her demise. This theme is prevalent in his stories because it mirrors the occurrences in his own life in which he tried to become a member of the upper-class coming from a poor family and never was able to achieve this goal.
Another major difference in Andersen’s tales as compared to the others we have read is the use of magic. In most other tales magic or fantasy is used however in Andersen’s there is little to no magic used at all. He replaces the magic with divine power from a god. This was used by Anderson as a socializing agent because he was a very spiritual and religious man. A third difference between Andersen’s tales and the other we have read is the descriptive narration of the tales. In most of the classic fairy tales there was little to no description of characters or setting. However in Andersen’s fairy tales there was lots of characterization and descriptive imagery of the settings.
Andersen’s tales were very unique because unlike most other tales we have read his tales were his own original works. The other tales we have read had many different versions from different authors because they were based on other folktales but Andersen’s stories were completely new tales that he made up in order to suit his own agenda and needs.