Hans Christian Andersen essay

ANDERSEN Hans-Christian [Hans-Christian Andersen, 1805-1870] – Danish poet, adjacent to the romantic school. His tales are one of the most significant phenomena in world literature of the 19th century. Born in the family of a poor cobbler, in the ancient Danish city of Odense, which has preserved many medieval customs. He studied at the school for the poor, where he received the beginnings of knowledge in arithmetic and spelling. Ten years old began his literary experiments. For fourteen years he left his native home and left for Copenhagen. Here for three years he somehow interrupted. In 1828, Andersen entered the university and published his first book, Hiking from the Galmen Canal to the Amagera Island, and the play Love on the Tower of Nikolaev. Andersen’s name soon gained fame, however, Danish society and Danish criticism tirelessly and long after he received general recognition abroad, they criticize him for his origin, for his appearance, for the poet’s eccentricities, which are attributed to “vanity”, for spelling errors and innovation in a style that qualifies as illiteracy. At the same time, he suffers a cruel need, since since 1829 he lives exclusively on extremely meager literary earnings. The persecution of influential public and literary circles forced Andersen to repeatedly leave his homeland. The first big overseas trip he took in 1833 was the beginning of his fame. At the beginning of the journey, he writes the poem “Agneta and the Sailor” on the plot of Danish folk song; in Switzerland – a fairy tale-tale “The Lacquer”; in Rome, which he especially loved, where his friendship with the famous sculptor Thorvaldsen was born, begins his first novel “Improviser”, which brought him European fame. The Improvisator depicts the nature of Italy and the life of the Roman poor. In 1834 he returned to his homeland, and in 1835 the first volume of his tales and short stories was published.

Of the works of Andersen, which appeared in the second half of his life [1845-1875], it should be noted, apart from fairy tales, the poem “Agasfer” [1848], novels – “Two Baronesses” [1849] and “To be or not to be” [1853]; in 1846 he begins to write his artistic autobiography “The Tale of My Life,” which he completes in 1875, the last year of his life.

Andersen’s life was clearly reflected in his works, whose heroes are almost always representatives of the poor, noble in heart, talented, but suffering from contempt of the powerful (“Improviser”, “This is only a violinist”, “Petka-lucky”).

Of everything that Andersen wrote, his dramas are by far the weakest, and the most significant are fairy tales. Plots for fairy tales Andersen took from folk sagas, ancient poetic works, stories heard in childhood, most importantly – from everyday reality. An abundance of descriptions of nature distinguishes Andersen’s tales from folk tales, and in these descriptions, high artistry is combined with geographical accuracy. Often Andersen’s tales are completely devoid of magic, outwardly realistic, their “fairy tale” only in the inner qualities of the characters. Most tales are imbued with soft humor, kindness of heart. The true children’s form, Andersen’s tales are so serious in content that they are completely accessible only to adults.

The unusually lively language of fairy tales is the language of Andersen the improviser, the narrator, who were equally heard both among children and adults, based on: 1. syntactic features for which stubborn Danish criticism persecuted Andersen for so long, 2. the abundance of onomatopoeic and extraordinary dynamism of descriptions. Recent features make his tales so beloved in a childish environment. Andersen’s aesthetic admiration for antiquity and purely human pity for everything obsolete, typical of Andersen, never combines with him, like some German romantics, with ideological worship of the past. The son of a shoemaker, a poet from the people who had tried on himself all the thorns of class society, he never misses an opportunity to emphasize his sympathy for the oppressed, his faith in the future. But Andersen did not rise to an understanding of the social problems of his time. His ideology is Christian philanthropic. His worldview is imbued with naive moralism. Kind feelings, the power of moral improvement of a person – for Andersen a pledge.