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The Snow Queen and The Ugly Duckling - Essay Example

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Summary
Name Instructor Course Date Childhood in “The Snow Queen” and “The Ugly Duckling.” “The Snow Queen” and “The Ugly Duckling” are fairy tales written by Hans Christian Andersen in the first half of the nineteenth century. These stories continue to retain their popularity through the centuries and are perennial favorites with children…
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The Snow Queen and The Ugly Duckling

Download file to see previous pages... The determined Gerda sets out on a long, difficult journey in search of him and succeeds in rescuing him from his captivity and releasing him from the spell of the evil glass. “The Ugly Duckling” relates the tale of a cygnet which is hatched in a duck’s nest. The little bird goes through suffering and various harsh experiences. It is rejected by all until it discovers its real identity and finds happiness. Both the stories are set in the years of childhood and growing up. However, there is a marked difference in the portrayal of the state of childhood experienced by Gerda and the ugly duckling. As Gerda enjoys a loving childhood and the ugly duckling endures hatred, it is clear that their childhoods are marked by different priorities. Gerda’s childhood is filled with love. She lives in the embrace of a loving family, surrounded by the beauty of flowers. Her parents are poor and live in a garret, but they hold on to the little beauty they can bring into their lives with their wooden window box of kitchen herbs and rose bushes. She has no siblings, but in their stead, there is the little boy, Kay: “They were not brother and sister, but they loved each other almost as much as if they had been” (Andersen, story 2, paragraph 2). The greatest comfort and joy of Gerda’s childhood is the companionship which she shares with Kay. ...
Gerda never feels the pangs of loneliness as Kay is always there for her. She is also blessed to have the reassuring presence of the grandmother who entertains the children with a treasure trove of stories. The old lady is always ready to show her concern and love for the children: “the grandmother smoothed (Kay’s) --- hair and told him some more tales” (Andersen, 2, 8). Every part of Gerda’s wonderful childhood is filled with love and peace. In marked contrast to Gerda, the ugly duckling endures a harsh childhood, which is full of hatred. Right from the hour of his birth, he is considered an oddity who is “very large and ugly” (Andersen, paragraph 7), unlike the other tiny, pretty ducklings. He is rejected by every other bird in the farmyard because of the difference in his appearance. The ugly duckling is subjected to physical cruelty in the farmyard: “The ducks pecked him, the chickens beat him, and the girl who fed the poultry kicked him with her feet” (Andersen, 17). The mother duck initially accepts him, but soon says “she wished he had never been born” (Andersen, 17). This saga of dislike and rejection continues as the ugly duckling encounters the wild ducks, the goslings and other animals. He is so repulsive in their eyes that “even a dog will not bite me” (22). The tom cat and the hen consider him to be an ungrateful “chatterer” and cannot sympathize with his desire to swim. The ugly duckling laments, “You don’t understand me,” (27). The old woman does not value him because he does not lay eggs; the peasant’s wife beats him for his clumsiness; he is stuck in the frozen water. ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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