Andersen Fairy Tales, Andersen-Hans Christian

The Porter’s Son

The Porter's SonThe Porter’s Son

There was once a porter’s son who was allowed to dance and make merry for the young daughter of the house, but he was not allowed to touch her. The girl was named Emily. Her mother had once been poor, but now she was married to the general and she thought very much of her status. She was the one who issued the order for the porter’s son to keep away from her daughter.

One day Emily accidentally started a fire, but George was there and put out the fire. He was rewarded in some fashion by the general. The two children shared moments as the years went on. When Emily was a young woman she became very sick and it was feared she would die. George would draw wonderful drawings for her. They would be of buildings around the area, but also of buildings George made up, buildings just for Emily.

Someone heard about George’s drawings and came to see them. They were impressed. It was a count. The count had enough money to get George trained properly. The years went on. George learned more and learned more. He eventually became an architect. Some years later, Emily, who lived, was at a party and someone was talking about the wonderful building that had been designed and who the architect was. Emily wanted to meet him. The architect was none-other than George, who now rose in society.

George and Emily were married after all despite original protests. George went much further than anyone would have ever thought a porter’s son could go.

Observations

Notice how a man must rise to become wealthy to marry a wealthy woman, but a woman doesn’t necessarily have to rise above anything to marry a wealthy man. This continues to be repeated through many stories.

Themes

The entire theme of this story is that George rose above it. He rose above being a servant’s son in a nice house to make something wonderful of himself and he married the girl in spite of it all. George did do very well for himself. He managed to do many things he otherwise would not have been able to do. He had help, but he did a lot of it himself. He was determined. He had talent. He had spunk. Good for George. George is someone like we should all aspire to be. It’s not enough to simply live life, you have to be the best you that you can be.

While we’re on the subject…it doesn’t matter what you’ve come from, at all. Where you came from should not determine what you can and cannot do in life. If you were born on the street or if you were born at Donald Trump’s house, you should be able to accomplish the same things in life if you really want to. No one should look down upon you just because your mother or father was a(n) (insert lowly profession or attribute here).

Overall

Good for George.

Weigh In

How would this story have been different if Emily and George had switched places?

Would a female architect have been a suitable match for a general’s son?

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