Andersen Fairy Tales

Oh Hans! Get a Girlfriend Already

Oh Hans! Get a Girlfriend AlreadyOh Hans! Get a Girlfriend Already

Hans was a romantic man, but all that romance didn’t get him a wife, or a girlfriend, or a boyfriend, or much of anything besides Jenny Lind telling him that she thought of him more like a brother. While reading Hans’ stories, it’s evident that Hans thought highly of the idea of romance. So many of the characters in the story fell in love. They wanted to be together more than anything, but many times, their love was not to be.

In the first example of this The Tin Soldier, the ballerina and the tin soldier do love each other, but do they get to be together? Nope. What about the story of the Ice Maiden? Do Rudy and his girl get to be together? The day before their wedding, Rudy is swallowed up by icy water and drowns. What about the ill-fated couple who first toasted their engagement with a bottle of wine? Nope, they too were never together. What about the man who ended up buried alive in the church of Skagen underneath sand? His love died before they could be together as well.

There were not many happy endings for lovers in Hans’ stories. Hans didn’t have happy endings in love for himself. He didn’t know what a loving relationship was like. Hans was on his own. He loved people, but they apparently didn’t love him back, at least in the way that Hans would have liked.

There were other factors to consider with Hans’ lack of relationships in his life. He was weird, no doubt, and had some hang ups about being physically intimate with anyone. Ultimately, we write about what we know, correct? Hans didn’t know real life stories of people ending up together, so his characters didn’t end up together.

There was a period in history, in stories rather, where it was romantic if everybody died. It was a tragedy, but wasn’t it just so romantic that they loved each other and then they died?

I think this whole mentality is kind of stupid, but I get the appeal. You could read a story about “true love” between two people and maybe their love is pretty great and they’re at the height of being in love, infatuated, and then they get hit by a bus. This “in love” couple never knows the hardships that come with being in a relationship, besides both being at the same place and same time where a bus also happened to be. Their love doesn’t have time to fade. Their love doesn’t have hardships to face. They never get into the day-to-day aspects of being in relationship where no one wants to cook dinner and no one can decide where to go out to eat at. Their love hasn’t had the time to be diminished or spoiled or put through tests. It’s almost pure in a way. When “in love” characters die in a story, it’s almost as if we’ve preserved their love before it gets touched by real life. Isn’t it so romantic?

Hans really liked the idea of two people being “in love” and so he wrote about it, but he wasn’t so sure about the after part, so many of his characters didn’t get an “after.”


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