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Quotes

Quote #1

"What have I done?" he sighed. "I have sinned as Adam did. Sinned and caused paradise to sink deeper into the earth." (The Garden of Eden.93)

No, friends, that's not an exaggeration: this dude literally messed up badly enough to cause paradise (a.k.a the garden of Eden) to sink deeper into the earth. Sucks to be him. Or, ya know, any human being at all, since in Andersen's Christian view, all humans are sinners.

Quote #2

The executioner opened his door and came outside. When he saw Karen he said, "Do you know who I am? I am the one who cuts off the heads of evil men; and I can feel my axe beginning to quiver now."

"Do not cut off my head," begged Karen, "for then I should not be able to repent. But cut off my feet!" (The Red Shoes.36)

Well, this is a gruesome little exchange. Karen knows that she sinned and now she wants to repent. But she can't repent if she's dead. So it's apparently better to have an executioner hack off your feet than it is to die from dancing yourself to death in a pair of cursed red shoes. We'll keep that one in mind.

Quote #3

The soul bowed down lower and lower as the godly wisdom entered him; and at last he felt what he had never felt before: the burden of his own arrogance, hardness, and sin. (On the Last Day.27)

So this dude dies, and his soul goes on a journey and finally reaches heaven. But before he can get in, he has to recognize that even though he's lived a more or less good life, he—like all other humans—is full of sin. We guess there is something kinda nice about admitting that none of us are perfect, right?

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