Andersen Fairy Tales, Andersen-Hans Christian

In the Uttermost Parts of the Sea

In the Uttermost Parts of the SeaIn the Uttermost Parts of the Sea

Ships set sail to explore the northern most parts of the world, but in the winter, they became frozen in. There was nowhere to move. The sailors made themselves houses out of snow, which looked like Huns’ graves. Inside they decorated with furs from the natives.

One sailor in particular had brought a Bible from home, which he kept beneath his pillow. Each night he would read a little from the Bible. One particular verse stood out to him, “If I take the wings of the morning, and fly to the uttermost parts of the sea, even there thou art with me, thy right hand shall uphold me.”

The sailor went to sleep and dreamt of home. There were his loved ones opening the most recent letter he had sent. In that letter he had written the verse which had become so important to him. They read his writing and his heart was with them even though he was in the uttermost part of the sea.

Observations

I’ve read both non-fiction and fiction stories about expeditions to the arctic. They were very rough. Sailors and researchers were stuck up in the north for periods that could exceed a year. Winter comes early up there and if they didn’t get out before they were frozen in, they had to stay until the thaw and we’re not talking February or March, we’re talking May and June. The guy in this story would have been stir crazy. That Bible would probably have been his only source of entertainment, which is sad, no one really thinks of the Bible as being entertainment.

It’s good that this guy was able to be hopeful and positive about the situation.

Themes

This story is about mind set. This guy was trying to stay positive. Try to put yourself in his shoes. He was bored to death; bored to tears, bored, bored, and bored again. He was living in a snow cave, which was probably warmer than his ship. He was still going to be cold all the time. He was probably hungry. What is there to eat out on the ice? He was lonely. The same three guys over and over again are going to get boring. This situation would be mentally taxing, to put it mildly.

This guy read his Bible and he thought of home and his loved ones. Good for him, not dwelling on the biting cold and gnawing hunger. With all that said, we just caught this guy at a happy moment. If this story were written a week or two later we would find our sailor in a completely different mindset.

Overall

It’s nice to be hopeful.

Weigh In

What would you do in your snow cave?

Would you go on an expedition to the arctic?

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