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A concise story of Hans Christian Andersen add to historical and literary context for The small Match Girl.
Hans Christian Andersen was a Danish author, mainly of fairy tales and short story geared towards children. The just son that working-class parents, Andersen came to be all too mindful of the inequities the the course system indigenous a young age, sustaining himself and also his education and learning through a collection of apprenticeships. Though originally interested in a career as an actor, Andersen’s passions quickly switched come writing, and, in ~ the urging of theatre director and benefactor, Jonas Collin, he started to pen a series of works that would continue to be in the general public conscience for centuries. Countless of his stories, such as “The Emperor’s brand-new Clothes” and “The Ugly Duckling” have because become so deep ingrained in popular society that the is simple to forget they had actually an original author to begin with. Andersen enjoyed substantial success throughout his later years together his story were translated and garnered worldwide fame, eventually ending up being the recipient of a stipend indigenous the Danish federal government that permitted him to make a comfortable living together an author. This newfound financial flexibility gave the the ability to travel, and he wrote number of travelogues chronicling his adventures throughout various countries and also continents. That went top top to build a friendship with British novelist Charles Dickens, bonding over your shared concern for the poor and also working classes. Andersen died in Copenhagen in 1875 native injuries sustained after a autumn in his home.
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The story’s focus on the bleak and desolate fate of the small match girl showcases the daunting effects that the commercial Revolution, a period beginning in the mid-18th century that observed the rise of factory labor. Though this era that heightened efficiency in manufacturing brought with it countless positives—including the widespread growth of the middle class—it was likewise responsible for creating several enduring problems, including disastrous working and living problems for the poor, serious overcrowding of cities, and rampant pollution. This period of industry was a dilemm for countless writers that the time, as huge swaths of the population moving from the pristine rural countryside to the dirty urban city signified a relocate away from the classic Romantic worths of nature and also spirituality and ushered in a new age of economic growth that came frequently at the expense of the most breakable workers. The way these societal changes impacted children was an area of specific interest, together the commercial Era’s penchant because that unsafe son labor and also general cruelty in the direction of young world was a startling exit from the importance that the vault era had actually placed on a children innocence.
“The little Match Girl” is one of many works indigenous the victor Era involved with the cruelty and hopelessness of boy labor, a usual practice that led many kids to an early grave. Though Andersen is a Danish writer, this motif is particularly prevelant in brothers literature. Brother Romantic writer wilhelm Blake, for instance, offers a similar depiction the a boy in risk in both version of “The Chimney Sweeper” in his 1789 arsenal of poems, songs of Innocence & Experience. Blake’s idea that fatality was the just reprieve from life together a son laborer (presenting it together an angel’s rescue) has actually echoes in “The tiny Match Girl.” Andersen’s contemporary and friend, Charles Dickens, is likewise renowned because that his focus on the poor and working course in his fiction, with orphaned and also unfortunate youngsters often appearing as his protagonists such together those in Oliver twisted and good Expectations. The format of the fairy tale was also undergoing a rebirth in popularity at the time, as the world-famous brother Grimm had actually published the an initial installment the their now universally-known Grimms’ Fairy story in 1812, ending with its final edition in 1857. The noted darkness and morbidity of this tales, in spite of being marketed for children, to be likely influential to Andersen. Reverberations of that influence can additionally be viewed in functions from authors such as Oscar Wilde, who novel The snapshot of Dorian Gray combine the folkloric underpinnings that Goethe’s Faust through gothic and also philosophical elements.
Full Title: The tiny Match GirlWhen Written: 1845Where Written: Denmark as soon as Published: 1845Literary Period: Victorian, Danish gold AgeGenre: Fairy TaleSetting: one unspecified city on new Year’s EveClimax: The small girl burns every her matches to keep the vision of she deceased grandmother with her, resulting in her death. Antagonist: forces of nature/poverty allude of View: third person limited

The Disney Connection: number of of Andersen’s stories have been the basis for famous Disney films and also shorts, consisting of The tiny Mermaid, Frozen, and The Ugly Duckling.