December 6, 2011

A Childhood Favorite

The Little Match Girl by Hans Christian Andersen
Translated by Jean Hersholt
Text in Original Danish version
Date first published: December 1845
I remember reading this fairytale in french thinking it spoke something about the Christian banquet feast in heaven when the poor little girl dies and goes to be with her grandmother.

via rabbittroop
A Hans Christian Andersen tale about a poor young girl with a burning desire to find comfort and happiness in her life. Desperate to keep warm, the girl lights the matches she sells, and envisions a very different life for herself in the fiery flames filled with images of loving relatives, bountiful food, and a place to call home.

She rubbed another match against the wall. It became bright again, and in the glow the old grandmother stood clear and shining, kind and lovely.

"Grandmother!" cried the child. "Oh, take me with you! I know you will disappear when the match is burned out. You will vanish like the warm stove, the wonderful roast goose and the beautiful big Christmas tree!"

And she quickly struck the whole bundle of matches, for she wished to keep her grandmother with her. And the matches burned with such a glow that it became brighter than daylight. Grandmother had never been so grand and beautiful. She took the little girl in her arms, and both of them flew in brightness and joy above the earth, very, very high, and up there was neither cold, nor hunger, nor fear-they were with God.

Comment on this quote: When the girl pigen burns the third match, her gaze turns upwards at the meeting with the Christmas tree, from hallucinating food and warmth to the hope of faith in something higher, someting spiritual. This is not just a hallucination that fades away, but a vision, that draws her attention to the reality at hand, a reality that is also spiritual. (source)
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