Andersen Fairy Tales, Andersen-Hans Christian

The Loveliest Rose in the World

The Loveliest Rose in the WorldThe Loveliest Rose in the World

There was once a noble woman who was sick. The doctor thought there was no hope for her. He said there was one chance. If the loveliest rose in the world was found and she saw it before she closed her eyes she just might be cured.

People immediately began suggesting where to find the loveliest rose in the world. Some said it was here. Others said it was there. One woman said the loveliest rose in the world was the blush in a child’s cheeks. Some thought this idea was silly.

It was not long before the noblewoman’s son ran into the room. He was carrying the Bible. he read to his mother with a rosy glow in his cheeks. The boy read, “Greater love hath no man than this.” The mother said she saw and whosoever beheld the loveliest rose in the world would never die.

Observations

Hans is getting preachy in some of these stories.

Hans mentions a couple of nobility names that have become something of legend in those stories. Those names are Walburg and Winkleried. It’s more of a nationalistic thing rather than any great admiration for these people. They weren’t really so amazing, but Hans’ countrymen believed their deeds to be heroic so they went down in legend.

Here’s the thing about this story–does the mother live? Hans is getting into eternal salvation in this story. There is no way of knowing whether or not the mother actually lives. She may know she’s fine eternally and then just kill over. A rose isn’t going to make her live. Roses can be pretty great, but they’re not going to bring you back from the brink of death.

Themes

The rose is used in a lot of religious symbolism. To some, it could be the virgin Mary, as in much lore used by the DaVinci Code, but there is other flower symbolism associated with religion. Christ is called “the rose of Sharon” in the Song of Solomon.

If you accept Christ and do whatever is required of you to do so, then you will never truly die, but your body is still going to die. Your soul will live on. This is what I was pointing out in the previous section. This mother has accepted Jesus into her life and, as such, her soul will never die because she has “beheld the rose.” Whether or not she lives through the next day is another matter. We don’t know, but her eternal salvation is assured, supposedly.

Overall

I don’t know how religious Hans was, but from reading some of his stories it seems he was rather religious.

Weigh In

Does the mother live? Does the mother die? What say you?

Do you think it’s time to get a different doctor?

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