Find out in this lesson, which will summarize and analyze Hans Christian Andersen's ~'The Red Shoes.~', Create an account to start this course today. The shoes carried her through brambles and stumps of trees, which scratched her till she bled. 5:33Skip to 5 minutes and 33 seconds When she afterwards tries to get back into the holy community, the shoes are still blocking her way. Like most of Andersen’s stories, “The Red Shoes” is a moral tale and tells the story of the vain, selfish and disobedient Karen who is condemned to dance until she dies because of her red shoes. Dance you shall, dance! Finally, though, she finds her way to the home of the executioner and begs him to ''strike off my feet, that I may be rid of my red shoes,'' but asks him to leave her head so she can ''live to repent of my sin.''. But that doesn't mean this is only a warning tale. But chop off my feet with the red shoes! How come the church is unwilling to accept Karen when she gets her feet chopped off only to save her later when she is dying? Furthermore, why does an angel, who’s supposed to help people, suddenly curse Karen? Mercy! Anyone can earn But the shoes had, as it were, grown to her feet, and dance she must, across fields and meadows—in rain or in sunshine—by day and by night—only by night it was far more dreadful still. courses that prepare you to earn Instead of paying attention to service, she thinks about her shoes. Karen likes that all eyes are on her when she enters church wearing the red shoes. The old lady now fell ill, and it was said she could not live. And she danced on, in spite of herself, right into the gloomy forest. She sat and listened with deep attention when the preacher read the Bible aloud in the evening. FutureLearn’s purpose is to transformaccess to education. This page was last edited on 29 January 2019, at 20:50. ", Then the sun shone brightly, and before her stood God's angel, in white clothes, such as she had seen him that night near the church door; only he no longer bore the sharp sword in his hand, but held a beautiful green branch, all full of roses; and he touched the ceiling with it, and the ceiling forthwith became lofty; and at the spot where he had touched it shone a golden star. The bright sunshine streamed in through the window down onto the pew where Karen sat; her heart was so filled with sunshine, with peace and joy that it broke; her soul flew on the sunlight to God and there was nobody there who asked her about the red shoes. To explore these, please watch the video above. When we first meet Karen, the ''pretty, delicate little girl'' who is at the heart of the story, she is very poor. 6:44Skip to 6 minutes and 44 seconds How are we to interpret this ending? © copyright 2003-2020 Study.com. His countenance was stern and grave, and his hand grasped a broad and shining sword. She spends the week feeling the ''keenest sorrow,'' but the same thing happens when she tries to attend church the following Sunday. In Denmark, as in Western culture in general, the colour red symbolises desire. And she then confessed her sins, and the executioner struck off her red shoes only, though it gave her as sharp a pang as if her toes had come off with them. And Karen could not help making a few dancing steps, and having once begun, her feet went on dancing. Sciences, Culinary Arts and Personal They were not fit for mourning, it is true, but having no others, she put them on to her bare feet, and followed the pauper's coffin to its last resting-place. 4:30Skip to 4 minutes and 30 seconds The shoes carried her along through thorns and stubble, she was scratched till she bled; she danced over the heath to a small, lonely house. Create your account, Already registered? Carry on browsing if you're happy with this, or read our cookies policy for more information. Karen knows the older woman would never approve of such a color, but luckily her patron doesn't see well enough to know the shoes are in fact red. The Red Shoes Everyone looked at her feet, and as she walked up the aisle of the church to the chancel doorway it seemed to her that even the old pictures of the funerals, those portraits of vicars and their wives with stiff collars and long black robes, fixed their eyes on her red shoes, and these were all she thought of when the vicar placed his hand on her head and spoke of holy baptism, of the covenant with God and that she was now going to be a grown-up Christian person; and the organ played so solemnly, the beautiful children’s voices sang and the old cantor sang, but all Karen could think of was her red shoes. Is it harmonious and if so, then how is this harmony created? But the looking-glass said: "You are more than pretty—you are beautiful!". The shoes go into the closet after that. Karen and the old lady went by the footway across the cornfield, which was rather dusty. Erica has taught college English writing and literature courses and has a master's degree in children's literature. Having trouble understanding Andersen's Fairy Tales? tapped on the window with her finger and said: Come out! first two years of college and save thousands off your degree. She did not care about wages; all she wanted was to have a roof over her head, and to be with good people.
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