Andersen's Fairy Tales
How we cite our quotes:
Then the mechanical nightingale had to sing solo. Everyone agreed that its song was just as beautiful as the real nightingale's; and besides, the artificial bird was much pleasanter to look at, with its sapphires, rubies, and diamonds that glittered like bracelets and brooches. (The Nightingale.41)
Ooh, shiny! Who doesn't love things that sparkle and glimmer? But some of them lack substance. What's that old adage, "everything that glitters isn't gold"?
The poor little duckling did not know where to turn. How he grieved over his own ugliness, and how sad he was! The poor creature was mocked and laughed at by the whole henyard. (The Ugly Duckling.27)
It can sure suck to feel like you don't fit in cuz of your looks. But the characters in this story are all birds, right? This totally isn't a commentary on how judgmental humans can be, right? Now let's go watch Mean Girls for some real "high school is a terrible, judgey jungle" type stuff.
When the old bishop laid his hands on her head and spoke of the solemn promise she was about to make—of her covenant with God to be a good Christian—her mind was not on his words. The ritual music was played on the organ; the old cantor sang, and the sweet voices of the children could be heard, but Karen was thinking of her red shoes. (The Red Shoes.11)
Pro tip: when worshipping God, don't obsess over how pretty you look in your nice new shoes. This does not go well for Karen, and it probably wouldn't go well for you, either.