Andersen Fairy Tales, Andersen-Hans Christian

The Ice Maiden-The Conclusion

The Ice Maiden-The ConclusionThe Ice Maiden-The Conclusion

Rudy and Babette came to the town they were to be married in, but it wasn’t quite time yet. There was water and a beautiful little island. Babette wanted to go out to the island. Rudy and Babette found a boat. Without asking permission or telling anyone where they were going, they rowed out to the island.

On the island was a bench under Acacia trees. Rudy and Babette sat there and spoke of their love for one another and their future. They had been there a while when they realized the boat had drifted away from the shore. Rudy said he would get it.

He got into the water and swam towards the boat, but something got him. The water was glacial cold, for there was a glacier there. Rudy looked down and saw all the people who had been taken by the glacier. The ice maiden had taken them all. Rudy sank down and the ice maiden screamed, “Mine.” She finally had him. She had finally gotten Rudy after all those years.

A terrible storm arose as the boat drifted further out of Babette’s reach. Nobody knew what had become of Rudy and Babette. Babette spent all night knowing Rudy was dead. She wondered what had she done for this to have come to pass. She thought about the thought in her heart that she might have liked to have been with the cousin and blamed herself.

Babette was found the next day. She went back to her hometown to live with her father. They left the mill and went to live in town. People who visit the island learn about the ill-fated lovers. Babette looks upon the world and knows that God does things which are best for all of us.

The End

Observations

I wanted to see if I could find some record of an ill-fated couple in the area Hans described, but I couldn’t, maybe if I were actually in the country. The lake spoken of is Lake Geneva. There is castle called Chillon, which is on the lake, but I couldn’t find anything about a man who died there.

Themes

Rudy and Babette’s sins caught up with them. Babette felt she was punished for her supposed unfaithfulness and Rudy was punished for letting the Ice Maiden get after him in a moment of weakness.

Look, neither of them did anything particularly bad. I think they were overly punished for things that weren’t so terrible. Poor Babette, she lived the rest of her life thinking that one or two errant thoughts ruined her chance at happiness. Rudy let one moment of weakness destroy his life.

I’m not saying moments like that don’t happen, because they do. You can do things in a moment of weakness that have far-reaching consequences, but did Rudy or Babette do one of those things? No, they did not. Rudy wasn’t overly terrible for getting upset at seeing his girlfriend with another guy and Babette wasn’t overly terrible for flirting with another guy. They weren’t even married yet for crying out loud, then I could see why Rudy and Babette would be this upset.

The moral of the story is not to let one moment of wrongness ruin your life, but how do you know what those moments are?

Overall

Poor Rudy. Poor Babette.

Weigh In

Do you think Rudy or Babette did terrible things?

Do you think either of them would have been unfaithful to the other had they gotten married?

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