The Cultural Significance Of Hans Christian Andersen, A Fairy Tale Hero

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Hans Christian Andersen was a Danish author who is considered one of the best and most culturally important fairy tale writers in history. His stories have been translated into over one hundred and twenty-five languages. The cultural significance of Andersen is an interesting topic to analyze. Hans Christian Andersen’s stories, “The Little Mermaid” and “The Shadow”, are culturally significant for many different reasons. “The Little Mermaid” tells a story of a young unnamed mermaid who decides to take control over her own life and destiny. She searches for eternal life through good deeds and sacrificing herself. “The Shadow” is a story about a learned man who tells his shadow to go snoop on another balcony and the shadow returns years later, wealthy and powerful. The man returns home and tries to write stories about good, truth, and beauty. These stories are culturally significant because they provide universal lessons to many different cultures, especially Danish culture. “The Little Mermaid” shows the trials of the youngest mermaid of a Sea King who has six daughters. The Sea King is widowed and his mother takes care of his palace. “They were six beautiful children; but the youngest was the prettiest of them all; her skin was as clear and delicate as a rose-leaf, and her eyes as blue as the deepest sea; but, like all the others, she had no feet, and her body ended in a fish’s tail. All day long they played in the great halls of the castle, or among the living flowers that
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