Andersen's Fairy Tales
by Andersen, Hans Christian
Andersen's Fairy Tales Visions of Denmark Quotes
How we cite our quotes: (Tale Title.Paragraph)
Do you know what a rammer looks like? It is a tool that workmen use when they pave a street with cobblestones. In Denmark it is called a "maiden"; and therefore, it is appropriate to use the feminine gender when describing it. (The Two Maidens.1)
Why, thank you, helpful narrator, for giving us this background information! Now we understand the premise of this story, where two of these tools think of themselves as "maidens" and consider themselves to be above the dirty manual labor they're made for. Way to fashion a whole story out of language-specific slang, Andersen.
A ship is sailing from Denmark, the man standing before the mast looks toward the island of Hveen for the last time. Tycho Brahe, who lifted Denmark's name high above the stars—and who received as reward only insults and injury—is sailing into exile in foreign lands. (The Thorny Path.20)
Tycho Brahe, for those not in the know, was a famous Danish astronomer. He made a lot of contributions to astronomy but wasn't appreciated in his homeland, so he eventually left for other parts of Europe. Kinda like Andersen… Hm…. Coincidence?!
The railroad here in Denmark stretches only from Copenhagen across Zealand to Korsør. It is a string on which many pearls are strung. Of such pearls Europe has many; the costliest are Paris, London, Vienna, Naples…Yet many a person does not consider these great cities the most beautiful pearls, but instead points to some little, humble, unknown town, for that to him is home, there live those whom he holds dear. (A String of Pearls.1)
So maybe Danish cities can't compete with other, better-known cities in Europe for titles like "Raddest City in Europe, 1857," but Andersen's believes that little towns have a charm all their own. Because every little town has people in it that make it their home.