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To Puppeteer a Child In the History of Danish Dreams , Peter Høeg brilliantly incorporates the idea of fate and free will by analyzing the relationships between his parent and child protagonists. It becomes vividly clear – through the interactions between Thorvald and Anna, Anna and Maria, and Amalie and Carsten, – that the children’s destinies are being written out for them and controlled by their parents. The first relationship where this theme becomes evident is between Thorvald Bak – the newfound pastor of Lavnæs – and his daughter Anna. Høeg immediately introduces Anna as being the “new messiah” because of her extraordinary ability to split into two people. Thorvald and the townspeople first witness this phenomenon while at the shoemaker’s deathbed. Upon this incident, Anna is hoisted onto a “wagon and placed on an improvised throne” (pg. 76). Anna, unaware of her miracles and the expectations of others, continues to innocently live her life and produces nothing more than a faint smile when confronted by a crowd of followers. Thorvald, however, recognizes that Anna has been created for some higher purpose. He decides to start dictating Anna’s life after he becomes speechless with amazement at hearing his daughter pray. Her words “flowed like music and the congregation saw tears glinting like pearls in the light from her face” (pg. 79). Thorvald, engrossed in the idea that Anna is the messiah, takes many precautions to prevent her from harms way. On the off chance she was to hurt herself, he exempts her from physical labor only to realize this isn’t enough. He quickly has a gold chain forged for Anna’s neck – the other end of the chain fastened tightly to his wrist. He eventually orders a silver-plated cage and locks up Anna in an attempt to further protect her and to “stifle the elusive element in her nature” (pg. 81). Anna, still being an innocent child, puts up with this new rearrangement without arguing. With Thorvald’s daughter safely out of harms way, he allows the townspeople to hover tightly around Anna – still in her silver cage – in order for her to guide and “protect them from the darkness” (pg. 84). All of this is occurring with Thorvald as the quarterback and without any consent from Anna. Eventually, Anna decides to abandon her father and his
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