The dynamics and charm of Andersen's fairy tales - Andersen Hans Christian

Essays on literary works - 2023

The dynamics and charm of Andersen's fairy tales
Andersen Hans Christian

From the very first words you feel the dynamics, you see living images. Here, for example, is how the Flint begins: “A soldier was walking along the road: one or two! Knapsack on the back, saber on the side. He was walking home from the war. On the way he met an old witch, ugly, disgusting: her lower lip hung down to her chest.

"Hello, serviceman!" she muttered. "Look, what a glorious saber you have!" And what a big bag! Here is a brave soldier!

Well, now I'll give you money as much as your heart desires.

Thank you, old witch! the soldier said.

Using folklore motifs, Andersen singled out social overtones, further enhancing the optimism inherent in folk art. When a dashing soldier from the same "Flint" defeated the evil king and his advisers, "all the people shouted:

Servant, be our king and marry a beautiful princess!"

Little Klaus, thanks to his natural intelligence and resourcefulness, decisively cracks down on his tormentor, the greedy and envious rich man Big Klaus, and satisfaction is felt in the author’s tone (“Little Klaus and Big Klaus”). Eliza’s selfless love for her brothers helps her endure all trials and defeat evil charms. At the same time, among the enemies of a good girl, we see not only a fairy-tale witch queen, but also an ordinary Catholic bishop (“Wild Swans”).

Some of the fairy tales turn into whole stories that have grown from the grain of folklore, where the moral idea is also hidden, unobtrusively developed by the author. In this regard, The Snow Queen, one of Andersen's best creations, is indicative. A fragment of the devil's mirror gets into the heart of little Kai. “Reflected in it, everything great and good seemed insignificant and nasty, everything evil and bad looked even angrier, and the shortcomings of each thing were immediately evident. But Gerda cannot leave a friend in trouble. To free him from the spell, she endures severe trials, walks around half the world barefoot. And so, when the boy and girl returned from cold Lapland to their father's shelter, they felt like adults.

No trials and vicissitudes will kill selfless love. With subtle psychological nuances, this eternal theme is developed in other fairy tales (The Little Mermaid, The Ice Maiden), and in many short tales like The Steadfast Tin Soldier, regardless of whose experiences and feelings the author depicts. After all, according to the laws of fairy-tale logic, any inanimate object can take on a human image. In the world of things and dolls that have come to life, everything happens as in real life. Andersen mastered this tried and tested poetic technique with exceptional perfection. That is why the sad story of the selfless love of a one-legged tin soldier for a cardboard dancer is so touching. This is a hymn to constancy, selfless devotion.

Often, Andersen extracts plots from folk proverbs, signs, beliefs (“Garden of Eden”, “Storks”, “Elder Mother”, etc.). So, regarding “Ole Lukoye” (that is, “Ole, close your eyes”), he himself wrote: “The idea associated with the name of Ole Lukoye, a creature that induces sleep in children, served as the only basis for this tale.”

Andersen's fantasy, no matter what he writes about, is firmly tied to reality. Heroes performing fabulous feats are surrounded by ordinary people and ordinary things, sorcerers and wizards look like ordinary inhabitants, fictional countries surprisingly resemble small semi-feudal Denmark with its provincial customs. Animated objects and talking animals are no different from people, and people who are proud of their dignity, intelligence, wealth, position in society begin to seem like clockwork puppets. Habitual, obliterated concepts seem to be turned inside out, appear in their true light. The very poetics of a literary fairy tale helps to separate essence from appearance - it teaches us to appreciate diligence, kindness, honesty, steadfastness; look for manifestations of heroism and valor not in palaces, but in huts;