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Andersen's Fairy Tales

Andersen's Fairy Tales


by Andersen, Hans Christian

Andersen's Fairy Tales Visions of Denmark Quotes

How we cite our quotes: (Tale Title.Paragraph)

Quote #1

The more he and the ferrymen talked, the less comprehensible they were to each other. "I can't understand your dialect," he said finally, and turned his back on them. (The Magic Galoshes.20-21)

This is amusing because the councilman has been transported back in time by a pair of magic galoshes, but instead of realizing what's happened, he assumes that the ferrymen speak a different dialect than he does. Turns out there are a bunch of dialects of the Danish language, so this is actually a plausible explanation… if you've already discounted time travel, that is.

Quote #2

The little girl showed him the whole country of Denmark; and everywhere they went there was the smell of elder flowers; and there flew the flag with a white cross on the red background, the same one that flew from the mast of the ship on which the old sailor had sailed. (Mother Elderberry.50)

This boy hallucinates that Mother Elderberry shows him the whole Danish countryside, in all of the different seasons. Sounds like a decent way to learn to appreciate your country.

Quote #3

The old castle dominates the scene and deep down in its cellar, in a dark room where no one ever comes, sits Holger the Dane. He is clad in iron, his head resting in his hands. He is sleeping and dreaming… Should Denmark ever be in danger, then he will rise, grab his sword, and fight so that all the world will hear it. (Holger the Dane.3)

You've heard of King Arthur, right? And about how he's sleeping in Avalon until Britain needs him as a hero again? Yeah, Holger the Dane is like that, but for Denmark. We definitely don't want to get on his bad side.

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