The Tales of Hans Christian Andersen - Andersen Hans Christian

Essays on literary works - 2023

The Tales of Hans Christian Andersen
Andersen Hans Christian

Tales of the Danish writer Hans Christian Andersen (1805-1875) became the property of Andersen of the cultural world and entered the children's books of the peoples of the whole earth. The son of a shoemaker in the old Danish city of Odense, Andersen, every boy from a simple family, early learned the tales of his Folk. In 1819, Andersen left his hometown with the intention of becoming an actor in Copenhagen, but Andersen's acting career failed.

He studied with the kids. He was showered with ridicule, but the shoemaker's son stubbornly went to the goal: he graduated not only from the gymnasium, but also from the university. In his student years, Andersen published a book of romantic essays, A Journey on Foot from the Holmen Canal to the Eastern Cape of Amager Island (1829), published poetry, and wrote vaudeville.

Researchers of Andersen's work see "grains of future fairy tales" in these and subsequent works. In the 30s of the 19th century, Andersen traveled a lot around Europe and returned from trips enriched with impressions, full of ideas. The acquaintance with Charles Dickens, Heinrich Heine, Victor Hugo and other great representatives of the progressive culture of Europe had a beneficial effect on Andersen's creative interests. From imitative romanticism, Andersen moves on to independent creativity, in which, for all the conventions of fiction, elements of realism showed through. But I knew that scholarly critics would blame me just for this language, and so, in order to put readers on the point of view I need, I called my fairy tales "Tales for Children." I myself always had in mind that I write them not only for children, but also for adults.

In 1835-1837. Andersen published three collections of fairy tales. They included: the famous "Flint and Steel", "The Princess and the Pea", "The King's New Dress", "Thumbelina" and other works now known to all. After the three collections were released, Andersen wrote many other fairy tales. Gradually, the fairy tale became the main genre in the writer's work, and he himself realized his true calling - he became almost exclusively a creator of fairy tales. The writer called his collections, published starting in 1843, "New Tales" - from now on they were directly addressed to adults, but even after that he did not lose sight of children. Andersen confessed in his autobiography: “As already mentioned, I titled the first editions of fairy tales “Tales for Children”. I conveyed these little tales in the same language, in the same expressions, as I told them to the children orally, and finally came to the conclusion that that this manner of transmitting them is best suited to all ages. Children were most amused by the very plot of fairy tales, adults were interested in the idea invested in them. My fairy tales have become favorite reading for both children and adults, which, in my opinion, should be achieved in our time by anyone who wants a fairy tale.

The writer's words express confidence that a fairy tale should have those properties and qualities that, like folklore, make it equally interesting for both children and adults, although their perception is different. Indeed, both The Steadfast Tin Soldier (1838), The Ugly Duckling (1843), The Nightingale (1843), The Darning Needle (1845-1846), and The Snow Queen (1843-1846), and all other fairy tales are full of that entertainment that so attracts the child, but they also have a lot in common, to the point of eluding children of meaning, which is dear to Andersen as a writer who also created for adults. In The Steadfast Tin Soldier, the story of an unlucky serviceman who did not have enough tin, his tragic love for a dancer who died with him in a flame makes you think about real life dramas. The end of the story is fanned by the author’s sadness — “only a tiny piece of tin” remained from the soldier melted in the fire: “The next day, when the maid raked out the ashes, she found a tin heart in the furnace. And from the dancer there was only sparkle. But she no longer sparkled - she turned black as coal. Andersen hoped that anyone who traced his tales “in the order in which they were written” would notice in them “a gradual development and improvement both in terms of clarity and convexity of the idea, the ability to use material, and the truthfulness and freshness of life”2.

From the numerous fairy tales of the writer, teachers selected those that are most accessible to preschool children. These are fairy tales: “Five from one pod”, “Princess and the Pea”, “Ugly Duckling”, “Thumbelina”.

In the tale of five peas, a story is told about the different fates of sisters from one pod. They were green and the pod was green, "well, they thought the whole world was green." When the pod began to turn yellow and the peas themselves turned yellow, they decided: “The whole world is turning yellow!” Unobtrusively, but a little with irony, Andersen speaks of the narrow and ridiculous view of everything around that is often inherent in small creatures. But the world is not at all what it seems to the peas.

Once in the wild, the peas decided that their hour had come. “And I would like to know which of us will go the farthest! - said the smallest. - However, we will see soon! The most enviable fate turned out to be that of a pea that fell into a crack in the attic, sprouted and delighted the recovering daughter of a poor woman. How happy the girl was to sit in the sun! “The window was open, and a blooming white-pink flower swayed outside the window.” It's pea shoots blooming. Three other peas fell into the goiter of the pigeons, “which means that they also brought considerable benefit,” and the pea that ended up in the ditch, in the sewage, the same one that “was about to fly into the sun,” grew ferocious: “Really, I will soon burst, and even more, I think, not a single pea has managed to achieve. I am the most wonderful of all five!” The satirical attack of the writer against philistine morality is obvious. The fairy tale about the fate of peas in an amusing and cheerful form brings the child the truth about human vices. Seriousness combined with a joke.

"The Princess and the Pea" belongs to those fairy tales by Andersen, in which elements of denunciation and satire are clearly expressed. It is imbued with the writer's democratic mockery of aristocratic effeminacy. The princess felt the pea through twenty mattresses and twenty down jackets. The pea, which helped the prince marry a real princess, was then “sent to the cabinet of curiosities; and there it lies, unless someone has stolen it.”

The tale "The Ugly Duckling" contains a story that comes to mind every time when an example of a false assessment of a person by his appearance is needed. Unrecognized, persecuted and persecuted in the poultry yard, the ugly chick eventually turned into a swan - the most beautiful among the beautiful creatures of nature. The story of the ugly duckling has become proverbial. In this tale there is a lot of personal, Andersen's - after all, in the life of the writer himself there was a long streak of general non-recognition. Only years later the world bowed to his artistic genius.

The tale of the tiny Thumbelina is very lyrical, imbued with the author's ardent sympathy for the heroine's misadventures. In addition, it contains satirical attacks against the townsfolk: this is a mockery of the ugly toad and her nasty son - "just like a mother"; this is irony over the mole. “You will have a wonderful husband. The queen herself does not have such a velvet coat as his! Yes, and in the kitchen and in the cellar he is not empty! Thank God for such a husband, ”the mouse Thumbelina tells about him. Like any good fairy tale, the story ended happily - the girl became the wife of the little king of the elves. The fabulous adventure ended as it should end: the ugly and the comic are ridiculed, and the beautiful and sublime got a happy lot.

Russian criticism recognized Andersen during his lifetime. N. A. Dobrolyubov appreciated the “remarkable talent” of the writer and especially noted that Andersen’s real ideas “extremely poetic” take on a fantastic character, that the writer’s tales “do not need a moralizing tail; they lead the children to think, and the applications of the story are made by the children themselves, freely without any exaggeration.