| Quote #1
The mer-king had been a widower for many years; his mother kept house for him. She was a very intelligent woman but a little too proud of her rank: she wore twelve oysters on her tail; the nobility were only allowed six. (The Little Mermaid.3)
Even non-humans have a social hierarchy in Andersen's world. Kinda gives the phrase "top dog" a new meaning, eh?
| Quote #2
Oh, God! Poverty breaks the strongest will. (The Magic Galoshes.71)
This line from a poem by one of Andersen's characters hits the nail on the head. No matter how stubborn or driven you are, always worrying about where your next meal will come from is freakin' exhausting.
| Quote #3
It does not matter that one has been born in the henyard as long as one has lain in a swan's egg. (The Ugly Duckling.76)
So, ultimately, like as far as the Christian God is concerned and such, nobility comes from inside of you. It doesn't matter what conditions you grow up in. But, um, it clearly helps to be born to higher-class parents. See: a lot of the other quotes in this section.