Sorry, folks. Since this is a collection of tales, not a book with a single plot, you don't get an overarching plot summary. But we will talk about some general plotlines that you'll observe across Andersen's stories. Just keep in mind that these stories vary in length and topic, so not all of the tales will follow one of these plotlines.
But enough ado about nothing. Here are a few basic plotlines Andersen seems to rely on:
- Downtrodden protagonist works hard, gets lucky, and makes it big (by getting rich, falling in love, or both).
- Downtrodden protagonist works hard, gets lucky, and is about to make it big (by attaining fame/recognition or marrying the love of his life), but suddenly dies.
- Downtrodden protagonist remains downtrodden, then dies.
- Flowers, trees, animals, and other nature-y things talk to each other, then die.
- Flowers, trees, animals, and other nature-y things talk to humans. This is not the result of moonshine or forgetting which pill to take on which day, but rather a dream or vision.
- Children do various adorable things. Sometimes, they die.
- Someone loses a love one and must accept that God does everything—even seemingly nasty things—for a reason.
- Mix n' match any combination of the above plots!
"Life sucks and then you die," right? Yep, these plots are kinda morbid. But even though there's a lot of death in them, there's a lot of love, too. So Andersen's stories actually mirror real life pretty well, even if they're full of a bunch of talking animals, plants, and objects (anthropomorphism much?).