Andersen's Fairy Tales Society and Class Quotes
How we cite our quotes: (Tale Title.Paragraph)
"I respect the poor, and know that in heaven many a poor man will be seated nearer God than many rich men will be. But here on earth, a carriage has to follow the tracks in the road or it will turn over; and you two would overturn!" (She Was No Good.35)
It sounds as though this lady is actually pretty prejudiced… she's okay with poor people in the abstract, but she doesn't want her kid to marry one. Again, we think Andersen is voicing an opinion that might have been popular amongst noble people during his time, even if he doesn't necessarily agree with this view.
The general lived on the second floor and the janitor in the cellar. There was a great distance between them: all of the ground floor plus the class difference. (The Janitor's Son.1)
Your social class plays a pretty big role in where you sleep at night. Being stuck in a cellar because you're poor is probably no fun, so this quote demonstrates a pretty nice metaphor: the general lives "above" the janitor in more ways than one.
"The poor have too many chicks in their nests," grumbled the noble owner of the castle. "If they could drown some of them, as one does with kittens, and only keep one or two of the strongest, they would be better off." (The Story Old Johanna Told.12)
Yeah, that sounds like a great idea! Let's prevent the poor people from having too many mouths to feed by killing some of their children! …said no one ever. Well, apparently this noble guy said it. But, um. Ugh. Make it stop.