Han Christian Andersen Exam 1, response 1

Han Christian Andersen Exam 1, response 1 - Arenson 1...

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Arenson 1 Throughout Hans Christian Andersen’s life he had a constant battle with the class into which he was born, and technically belonged to, and with the more elite class referred to as the bourgeois society. Andersen knew that in order to become a successful and renown ed writer he would have to somehow immerse himself into that society. In many of Andersen’s writings he would allude to the bourgeois society with a cynical point of view. A few stories in which he referenced the bourgeois society, and his beliefs about that society, are “ The Emperor’s New Clothes,” “Inchelina,” and “Children’s Prattle.” Every time Andersen referred to the bourgeoisie in his writings, he indicated some of his underlying feelings about the society, and how, exactly, he fit into it. Andersen stayed con sistent when he portrayed the upper class Copenhagen society in his writings. Very often, he delineated the bourgeois society as a simple-minded group of people, and depicted them as though they did not think for themselves, but rather did what they thought was to be the way to act or think. An example of this is seen in “The Emperor’s New Clothes.” This can be seen after the two men had come to town and the upper class was trying to see the fabric but nothing was there. “All the councilors, ministers, and men of great importance who had come with him stared and stared; but they saw no more than the emperor had seen, and they said the same thing that he had said, ‘It is lovely.’…” (Haugaard 79). This demonstrates that although these men were of the upper class, not one of them could speak up and say that they saw nothing. Instead, they acted as though they saw a beautiful piece of cloth and did not wish to appear doubtful . It portrays the upper class to not think for itself by showing that if the king says he sees the fabric, then they all say they see it. Andersen also portrays the bourgeoisie to be self-righteous, smug and condescending. For example, this can be seen in “Children’s Prattle” when the daughter of the Knight of the Royal Bedchamber was explaining the
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This note was uploaded on 03/17/2012 for the course LITTRANS 275 taught by Professor Allen during the Spring '08 term at University of Wisconsin.

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Han Christian Andersen Exam 1, response 1 - Arenson 1...

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