Saturday, June 15, 2013

On "The Swineherd" by Hans Christian Andersen (1574 words) ****

Andersen has a few fairy tales that work against romantic traditions, but they say quite a bit about relationships--if you've of a cynical sort. In this tale, a prince sends a beautiful princess his greatest gifts, which she spurns. He then takes on the guise of a lowly swineherd and, in exchange for a few baubles, seduces her. Alas, when her virtue is taken, the prince spurns her, because she's sell herself out to such a lowly person for a few gifts. What are we to take from this? That women are materialistic? That men use women and cast them aside? There seems some kind of lesson in the tale about materialism, but it also seems to suggest something about way that we set up standards for others that we ourselves don't really live by. Is the seducer much better than the seduced? Read the tale here and think about it for one's self.

No comments: