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Every tale must end at last. Options
Posted: Monday, July 4, 2011 12:00:00 AM
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Every tale must end at last.

Hans Christian Andersen (1805-1875)
Posted: Monday, July 4, 2011 2:03:18 AM
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Daemon wrote:
Every tale must end at last. Hans Christian Andersen (1805-1875)

The above quote comes from, The Fir by Hans Christian Andersen--21 December 1844, and are the last six words of the story.

"The tale is about a fir tree so anxious to grow up, so anxious for greater things, that he cannot appreciate living in the moment. The tale was first published 21 December 1844 with "The Snow Queen" in Copenhagen, Denmark by C.A. Reitzel. One scholar indicates that "The Fir-Tree" was the first of Andersen's fairy tales to express a deep pessimism."

...............The boys played about in the court, and the youngest wore the gold star on his breast which the Tree had had on the happiest evening of his life. However, that was over now--the Tree gone, the story at an end. All, all was over--every tale must end at last.

The Fir

I hope you find time to read the short one-page story. I thought it was a story to teach one to enjoy your time, and observe what is around you. Perhaps I misunderstood. Or perhaps I liked the old-timey Christmas feel to it. Jury is still out. Think

Please thank Wikipedia and

peace out, >^,,^<
Marissa La Faye Isolde
Posted: Monday, July 4, 2011 9:12:00 AM
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One's innocence is not really the answer; and neither is our pessimism...but something more, beyond these two illusions...
Posted: Monday, July 4, 2011 10:05:48 AM
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The tail IS the end.
Posted: Monday, July 4, 2011 10:36:31 AM
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I see The Fir Tree as less a fairy tale and more a fable.

"A fairy tale is a type of short narrative that typically features such folkloric characters, such as fairies, goblins, elves, trolls, dwarves, giants or gnomes, and usually magic or enchantments. However, only a small number of the stories refer to fairies. The stories may nonetheless be distinguished from other folk narratives such as legends (which generally involve belief in the veracity of the events described)[1] and explicitly moral tales, including beast fables." (

"A fable is a succinct fictional story, in prose or verse, that features animals, mythical creatures, plants, inanimate objects, or forces of nature which are anthropomorphized (given human qualities), and that illustrates a moral lesson (a "moral"), which may at the end be expressed explicitly in a pithy maxim." (

In The Fir Tree, the tree itself, the sunshine, mice, rats, etc., all are anthropomorphized, and the story ends with a moral, typical of fables. On the other hand there are none of the folkloric characters typical of fairytales.

As a fable what lesson does The Fir Tree teach? Ostensibly, enjoy the moment before "the tale" (Life) ends, but what a bleak picture of life the story gives. It is told from the perspective of a tree, impotent to affect its own fate, which (or who) is destined to be chopped down and end up its days quite ironically as a Christmas Tree (a symbol of Christian hope and rebirth.) Life is wasted in dissatisfaction and anhedonia, longing for a better world, and ending in regret. Only too late the tree learns the life he might have had with a "little Birch Tree...a real charming princess." But instead, life has come to a bitter and lonely end, "chopped into small a heap lying there." Significantly, from the dismembered limbs that were the tree, "the youngest boy" has taken the gold star (of Bethlehem) that once capped the tree, and "wears it on his breast," close to his heart.
With the transfer of the gold star to the boy, the connection between the tree, the boy and Christianity is complete. Andersen was obliquely expressing his deep doubts about the answers his Christian faith provided to the problem of existence. Seen in that light, the moral of the fable is to enjoy life while you can. Don't waste it longing for an afterlife that may never come.

This is by no means a complete explication of The Fir Tree, but it does touch on the major theme.
Posted: Monday, July 4, 2011 5:00:27 PM

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The life tale, e.g.
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