Andersen's Fairy Tales
by Andersen, Hans Christian
Andersen's Fairy Tales Memory and The Past Quotes
How we cite our quotes: (Tale Title.Paragraph)
It was late and Councilman Knap, who was getting ready to go home, was so engrossed in thinking about the times of King Hans that he put on the magic galoshes instead of his own. As he stepped out onto East Street, he was back in the time of King Hans, which means that he put his foot down in half a foot of slush and mud because in King Hans's times there was no such thing as a sidewalk. (The Magic Galoshes.7)
Sure, maybe some things were better in the past, but sanitation wasn't one of those things. So we guess we shouldn't romanticize the days gone by so much? Also, since kitten memes weren't invented yet, we're really not interested anyway.
"Well," said the little girl in the tree, "some people call me Mother Elderberry; others call me the dryad; but my real name is memory. I sit in the tree that grows and grows; I can remember everything and therefore I can tell stories." (Mother Elderberry.54)
This Mother Elderberry chick, she's both a tree and the embodiment of memory. She pops up in several of Andersen's tales, not just the one that's named after her. Seems like memory is, indeed, an important thing to notice in Andersen's writing.
This was to be the last night that the old lamp would shine down upon the pavement…Other thoughts came: memories of all he had seen. He had cast his light upon many a curious sight and had seen more than all the six and thirty men of the town council put together. (The Old Street Lamp.4)
Close your eyes and imagine what the inanimate objects in your living room have witnessed. Like, whoa, right? We think Andersen's getting at something here about inanimate things being containers for human memories.