Friday, 15 October 2010
My post today is about: The Snow Queen by Hans Christian Andersen
This fairy-tale is definitely on my favourites list. I love to read it in autumn and winter because it is quite a dark fairy-tale and it suits me to have a perfect “dark” atmosphere when reading it. Snow or autumn mists are my kind of perfect.
What I like about this story:
→ the magic mirror, created by the devil, which distorts the appearance of things it reflects (I love mirrors in stories!); it doesn’t reflect the goodness in people, but magnifies their bad features, making them look even worse than they are in real life (that’s one very powerful weapon of evil, I think, which makes the quest for goodness all the more poignant and difficult, in my opinion)
→ the mirror shatters and its shards get into people’s eyes and hearts, making them cold and they only side bad things in other people (again, the workings of evil are very tricky in this story)
→ the two friends Kay and Gerda, I like these two children a lot, especially the brave, innocent Gerda
→ Kay’s grandmother’s story about the Snow Queen and her snow bees
→ Kay becomes a victim of the mirror, as one mirror shard enters his heart, making him cold, and the other his eye, making him see ugliness all around, and then little Gerda goes on her quest to save him, all by herself
→ the Snow Queen’s palace is located in an actual place, Lapland; this often gives me a feeling of a reality, instead of this story being only a figment of imagination
→ the Snow Queen’s condition to release Kay: he must put together the pieces of the broken mirror to create characters and words, and if he manages to put together the word eternity, she will release him and give him a pair of skates (quite an impossible task, meaning the Snow Queen intends to keep Kay)
→ little Gerda saves Kay with love: she weeps for him, her warm tears melting the shard in his heart, and then he begins to cry too, washing out the shard from his eye (this is one of my favourite endings and I love its very simple, yet poignant message: love conquers everything)
I have to say that I’ve never read any academic articles about C.S. Lewis’s The Chronicles of Narnia, but I’m pretty sure that the cold Queen of Narnia is based on Andersen’s Snow Queen. The similarities are too obvious and if that’s true, then I’m really happy about it.
Posted by Irena @ This Miss Loves to Read at 10/15/2010