Andersen's Fairy Tales
Foreignness and "The Other" Quotes
How we cite our quotes:
"Listen to the woman's song of lament; hear the priest chant. The Hindu wife is standing on the funeral pyre, dressed in a long red gown. Soon the flames will devour her and her husband's body." (The Snow Queen.73)
The fact that this story appears as one of the many anecdotes in "The Snow Queen" is just a little odd. Like, why does burning one's self to death crop up in a kid's story? Andersen probably thought this funeral scene was all frightful and savage, so maybe it'd scare kids into behaving better, or provide the adults reading the story to kids with an added bit of freaky deaky entertainment.
Goodness me, it was hot inside! The Finnish woman walked around almost naked. (The Snow Queen.184)
Andersen had probably met actual Finnish people in his lifetime, so we're not sure why the Finnish woman in "The Snow Queen" gets portrayed so inaccurately. It sounds like her whole house is a sauna, which is impractical. It'd be like living in a spa: nice at first, but is there anything you wouldn't sweat on?
Then the airship will fly over that country from which Columbus sailed and where Cortes was born: Spain… Beautiful dark-eyed women will still inhabit its fertile dales; one will hear the names of el Cid and the Alhambra in the old songs that people will still be singing. (The Millennium.7)
It's not like Spanish people will be any different in the future, when they already have airships and other inventions. Nope, they'll still be singing looking all exotic and singing their happy peasant songs… and the land will totally still be fertile, and not ruined by all that rapidly expanding civilization stuff. Riiiight.