Fairy tales are traditional stories, usually written for children, which often involve imaginary creatures and magic (according to Cambridge Dictionary) that have been created long time ago and have become very well-known today as most people have either read them or have them told at some point in their life. A number of people believe that fairy tales are just for children and they are just for entertaining purpose because they are usually take place in an unreal world and full of magical elements. However, Hans Christian Andersen, a Danish writer, said: “Every man’s life is a fairytale written by God’s finger.”, thus, each person’s life, somehow, is a story and that story is reflected by a fairy tale. So fairy tales are not just imaginary, they are stories of people’s lives, hopes and believes and they are also for education purpose.Hans Christian Andersen (1805 – 1875) was a renowned novelist, dramatist and poet. He was most famous for writing innovative and influential fairy tales, which is loved by the  young and old around the world. Many studies have shown that Andersen had brought his own life events and his personal experiences into his stories. For example, in “The Ugly Duckling”, one of his best-known stories, it is easy to identify Andersen as the ugly duckling, who is really different but still triumphs after overcoming many hardships because “his own life began in painful obscurity; when he tried to make his way out, his awkwardness and odd appearance led him to make a fool of himself. But in the end, his great talent brought him fame and fortune.” (Chisholm).”It was lovely summer weather in the country, and the golden corn, the green oats, and the haystacks piled up in the meadows looked beautiful.” (Andersen), the story begins with a very beautiful country scene, in which, a mother duck is sitting on her nest, waiting for the baby ducks to come out of their shells. The father duck is nowhere to be seen and nobody visits her. One reason for this is because Anderson “was devoted to him, but lost him when only 11 years old” (Wullschlager) and it was his mother who rose him up alone by herself. So it is not very hard to figure out why the ugly duckling does not have a father.As the story progresses, the baby ducks, who just come out of their shells, are all pretty and welcomed by everybody. However, there is just one duck that looks big and ugly. Every creatures in the farmyard hate the ugly duckling and he is bullied as he is way too different and as the animals believes that he does not belong to them. This gives him a miserable time, makes he feels awful about himself. Likewise, during his childhood, Andersen did not have a lot of friends, he was by himself most of the time. Andersen was  known as a lonely, gawky, ridiculous boy who likes to dress his dolls, wrote plays and sang in a beautiful tenor voice which was nothing like other children, who preferred to play outdoor. He was also a very tall guy, even taller than the average height of people at his time. “Andersen himself was a tall, ugly boy with a big nose and big feet, and when he grew up with a beautiful singing voice and a passion for the theatre he was cruelly teased and mocked by other children.” (Chisholm).When Andersen turned fourteen years old, desperately unhappy with his current circumstances, he convinced his mother to let him travel to Copenhagen to pursue his dream of becoming famous and successful. And this event, which was likely a turning point of his life, is illustrated in the ugly duckling when he decides to leave the farmyard to find a better place, to find a place where the animals will accept and recognize him. But the journey is never easy for him, instead, he must face so many difficulties, unfortunates and challenges. Everywhere he goes, he is shun by other animals for the same reason, being big and ugly. The ugly duckling finds himself on a moor where he meets two wild goslings, which offers to help him to become a bird of passage and to get himself a wife even though he is ugly. At this time of the story, Andersen might allude to Jonas Collins, a director of The Royal Theatre, who supported Andersen and sent him to Slagelse for his belated schooling at a grammar school. Andersen recalled five years that he spent in the grammar school as the saddest, darkest time of his life. He struggled since he was not a good student at all, he could not spell probably and his grammar and writing was not good as well. Additionally, at that time, he was seventeen years old, so he was way too oversized compared to his classmates, who were eleven years old. Because all of these, his classmates, his teachers made fun of him, or even “bullied” him by mocking his dream of becoming an author. A similar struggle happens to the ugly duckling when he stays at a small cottage after leaving the moor. The duckling is bullied by a tom cat and a hen since he does not have the ability to purr or lay eggs, they also tell him that his love for swimming is a foolish thing. And again, the ugly duckling decides to go out into the word to find the place that he belongs. Similarly, Andersen also went to another school to finish his study and then travelled the world to made his dream come true.When the harsh winter is gone, the ugly duckling finds himself in another moor, in which he sees beautiful swans. The ugly duckling builds up his courage to swim toward them even though he knows that he may be rejected or even being killed by them. However, to his surprise, the swans embrace him and he discovers that he is no longer an ugly duckling, instead, he has become a beautiful swan, the most beautiful of all swans. By ending the story like this, Andersen wanted to show his dream of becoming famous and being accepted by people. He wanted himself, like the ugly duckling, to transform into the most beautiful swan, which means that he wanted to become the greatest Danish writer.”The Ugly Duckling” is not only a story. By writing it, Hans Christian Andersen had not only shown the world the story of his life and his dream but he also taught people to never give up when he said: “It doesn’t matter if you’re born in a duck yard, so long as you are hatched from a swan’s egg!”.Another story that reflects Andersen’s life and belief is “The Little Match Girl”. Inspired by the drawing of a Danish artist – Johan Thomas Lundbye, Andersen used this story to “outlines the economic strife and social segregation he experienced during his childhood and early youth.” (Capano); to give a look into the society that he lived in and to show his belief. The short story opens with a little poor girl trying to sell matches on the most terribly cold New Year’s Eve. The poor little girl goes along the street “with her tiny naked feet, that were quite red and blue from cold” (Andersen). For a whole day, people around her have not bought anything or give her anything. Even though the little girl “crept along trembling with cold and hunger” (Andersen), she can not return home, or actually, she does not have the courage to do so. Since she has not sold any matches, she afraids that her father will beat her if she can not being home any money. Therefore, sitting in the corner between the two houses, she lights her matches, one by one, to warm herself up. Andersen, in this story, portrayed the most realistic view of his society of the Victorian time. At those time, children, usually those of the lower social class, were not treated the way they are nowadays. People considered them as mini adults who could work and face life difficulties by themselves. Children were also forced to work and were used for cheap labour. Andersen also illustrated the people of his time, who were heartless and paid no mind to the poor. Hans Christian Andersen was part of an art movement that condemned social conditioning and class differentiation (Capano) and Andersen fought for people’s right by creating his works. He wanted to raise people’s awareness about children’s rights that children have the rights to be creative, to use their imagination to create happiness, to have hope without worrying about life hardships. In “The Little Match Girl”,  when the poor little girl lights up her matches, each matches represent her different visions and dreams. As soon as the first match is up, she sees a vision of a large warm iron stove, which warms her up for not a long time and then fastly disappear. She quickly rubbed another match and this time, her second vision is “where the light fell on the wall, there the wall became transparent like a veil, so that she could see into the room. On the table was spread a snow-white tablecloth; upon it was a splendid porcelain service, and the roast goose was steaming famously with its stuffing of apple and dried plums. And what was still more capital to behold was, the goose hopped down from the dish, reeled about on the floor with knife and fork in its breast, till it came up to the poor little girl.” (Andersen) but again, “when–the match went out and nothing but the thick, cold, damp wall was left behind.” (Anderson). The third times, she sees a magnificent Christmas tree with thousand of lights. And when “the lights of the Christmas tree rose higher and higher, she saw them now as stars in heaven; one fell down and formed a long trail of fire.” (Andersen), she says that someone is just dead as “her old grandmother, the only person who had loved her, and who was now no more, had told her, that when a star falls, a soul ascends to God.” (Andersen). In the end of the story, when she lights up the next match, she meets her loving grandmother. “Oh, take me with you! You go away when the match burns out; you vanish like the warm stove, like the delicious roast goose, and like the magnificent Christmas tree!” (Andersen), the girl begs her grandmother to let she go with her, and they all go to a place where “was neither cold, nor hunger, nor anxiety–they were with God” (Andersen). Andersen ended the story by the little poor girl’s death, but her death brings lesson about the perseverance of hope. “In these sparse, unforgiving lines, Hans Christian Andersen packs so much simple beauty and hope: The girl is cold, barefoot, and poor—without a friend in the world (it seems)—but she is NOT without hope.” (Lombardi). Even though she is getting freezing, she still use her imagination to hope for a better situation, she hopes for the warmth, food, love and happiness. “The Little Match Girl” serves as a great tool, like most fairy tales, to teach not only children but also adults important lessons about hope and love for other people. Andersen’s story “remains iconic as an account of how a child is both desperately vulnerable and infinitely enriched by a transcendent imagination. Andersen’s own unhappiness, fixed in youth, was, says the writer Ellen Handler Spitz, ‘the deep ground of his genius … the source of the profoundest grief in the story of the little match girl. The story is only four pages long, but it epitomises all that Andersen understood about the gap between desire and truth. In it, he honoured the rough matter of his own earliest childhood, brought it through fire, and cut a gem.” (Wullschlager).By reading both “The Ugly Duckling” and “The Little Match Girl”, it can help to understand the life, dream and belief of Hans Christian Andersen. “The Ugly Duckling” is probably a good story of his life, where after so many ups and downs, finally, he finds the places that he can have happiness and be accepted by people around him. Andersen, like the ugly duckling, had never stopped dreaming, had never stopped looking to go outside to explore the world and be successful. This story represent Andersen’s life and dream. “The Little Match Girl” had a tragic ending, but it brings up to readers what Andersen wanted them to know about the society where he lived and his belief in human’s rights, especially children’s rights to have happiness, hope and dream. These two stories, and fairy tales in general, are able to reflect one person’s events of life, determination and belief. They also bring up many moral lesson for both adults and children about different aspects of life. So fairy tales are not only just imaginary stories for entertaining purpose, they are stories of lives and dreams and they serves for education purpose.                                                               Works CitedAndersen, Hans Christian. “Hans Christian Andersen.” Literature Network, www.online-literature.com/hans_christian_andersen/981/.”A quote from The Ugly Duckling.” Quote by Hans Christian Andersen: “It doesn’t matter if you’re born in a duck yard…”, www.goodreads.com/quotes/578003-it-doesn-t-matter-if-you-re-born-in-a-duck-yard.Capano, Daniela. “Analysis and Comparison of ‘The Little Match Girl’ by Hans C. Andersen and     ‘The Little Match Girl Passion’ by David Lang.’.” Academia.edu, www.academia.edu/14583727/Analysis_and_Comparison_of_The_Little_Match_Girl_by_Hans_C._Andersen_and_The_Little_Match_Girl_Passion_by_David_Lang.Chisholm, Anne. “The tale of an ugly duckling.” The Telegraph, Telegraph Media Group, 5 June 2005, www.telegraph.co.uk/culture/books/3643193/The-tale-of-an-ugly-duckling.html.”Hans Christian Andersen.” Biography.com, A&E Networks Television, 2 Apr. 2014, www.biography.com/people/hans-christian-andersen-9184146.Lombardi, Esther. “”The Little Matchstick Girl”.” ThoughtCo, Jul. 25, 2017, thoughtco.com/the-little-match-girl-review-738159.”Review: Hans Christian Andersen: The Life of a Storyteller by Jackie Wullschlager.” The Guardian, Guardian News and Media, 17 Nov. 2000, www.theguardian.com/books/2000/nov/18/biography5.The New York Times, The New York Times, 20 May 2001, www.nytimes.com/books/01/05/20/reviews/010520.20allent.html.The Ugly Duckling Analysis, www.umich.edu/~childlit/UglyDuckling/display1.htm.”The Ugly Duckling.” Hans Christian Andersen: The Ugly Duckling, hca.gilead.org.il/ugly_duc.html.Wullschläger, Jackie. Hans Christian Andersen: the life of a storyteller. Penguin, 2004.

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