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Hans Christian Andersen’s the Little Match Girl

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Autor:   •  January 10, 2018  •  Book/Movie Report  •  591 Words (3 Pages)  •  12 Views

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First published in December 1845, Hans Christian Andersen’s The Little Match Girl is a short story about a young girl selling matches during a terribly cold and dark New Year’s Eve, and about her hopes and dreams as she slowly succumbs to her death. Whilst selling her matches, barefoot and bareheaded mind you, the poor girl realizes she was getting cold and hungry and finds a place to warm herself up by using the matches that nobody had bothered to buy off her. Instead of just warming her bare hands and feet, she sees fantasies of a happy New Year’s Eve dinner, a large Christmas tree, and her late grandmother. The story ends with the little match girl joining her grandmother and flying in brightness and joy so high, symbolizing that like her grandmother, she too had passed away.

In the end, no one had the slightest idea of all the wonderful sights the little match girl saw before letting go of her last breath, holding one bundle of burnt out matches with a peaceful smile on her face.

Back in the day, people such as the fictitious little match girl weren’t uncommon as they could be seen walking around the streets of Denmark and Europe in general. Noticing this, this is how Andersen presumably got the final push to write this story after being inspired by a drawing by another Danish artist, Johan Thomas Lundbye, in which a girl is seen selling matches in the streets.

The way Andersen narrates this short story is really effective and does its job really well. From the very first paragraph, the tone and mood of the story had been set properly. From there, readers could already tell that this wasn’t going to be a happy, light-hearted story. It was going to be a dark, heavy tale. And the style of the writing prepares us for that. Additionally, the expert use of descriptive words adds so much color and life to the overall storytelling. It makes the reader feel more empathy for the poor little match girl, and it helps in forming more vivid images in the readers’


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