Andersen Fairy Tales, Andersen-Hans Christian

The Windmill

The WindmillThe Windmill

There was once a windmill who thought itself wonderful. It was a windmill. It was a great thing. It had four arms, which rotated around. If it fell down, it would be rebuilt. The windmill spoke of people who had gone inside of it, little boys and repairmen. The windmill thought it was a great thing all around.

One day the windmill burned up. The damage was too extensive to use the same materials to reconstruct it. New materials were used and the design was more modern.

The body of the mill did not rise out of the ground again. It had been taken literally and things are not meant to be taken literally.

Observations

Alright, all you kids born in the 00s, what is a windmill for? Is it just to look pretty and for Don Quixote to fight? Nope, a windmill is a source of power, as is readily evident if you look at modern windmills. The windmill’s power as harnessed in the 1800s was used to pump water or grind grain. The arms would spin in the wind, turn some machinery inside the mill and then that machinery would do something, most often move mill stones to grind grain. Thus why is was called a “windmill.” It was a mill.

Themes

You’re not supposed to take things literally apparently, which begs us to ask a question like, “If we’re not going to do what we say, then why say it that way?” I mean seriously, “Shut the front door,” really, why should I shut the front door? It’s an expression, it’s not meant to be taken literally. The same with whatever expression caused everyone to believe this windmill would rise again out of the earth. Yes, a windmill could be built there again, but it wouldn’t be exactly the same windmill.

Overall

Windmills…so full of themselves.

Weigh In

Would you like to have a windmill?

If you had the chance, would you live inside of a windmill?

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