The Ugly Duckling book report - detailed analysis, book summary, literary elements, character analysis, Hans Christian Andersen biography and everything necessary for active class participation. Analysis The Ugly Duckling is a story about the troubles and sufferings of a young swan that got hatched from an egg in a … [Read more...] about The Ugly Duckling
Hans Christian Andersen
Hans Christian Andersen was born in Odense on April 2, 1805 in a one-room house (today: Hans Christian Andersen Museum) at Hans Jensens Stræde 43 - 45 and lived there for a short time from 1805 to 1807. In 1807, Hans Christian and his family moved to another house, in Munkemøllestræde 3-5 in Odense, where he lived from 1807 to 1819 and where he spent his childhood.
When he was 11, his father died and he was practically left alone. He only went to school at intervals and spent most of his time reading stories, not the lessons he learned in school. As he remembered everything very easily, he learned some lessons by listening to a boy neighbor who had a habit of learning aloud. He remembered and recited plays to anyone who would listen to and imitate ballet dancers, acrobats, or pantomimists.
To put an end to this, his mother took him first to a weaver, then to a tobacconist, and finally to a tailor to make him gain knowledge as a craftsman. Hans Christian knew these jobs were not for him. The only things he was interested in were theater, books, and stories. When he was 14, he decided to go to Copenhagen.
Three bitter years of poverty followed. Hans Christian made very little money singing in the boys' choir at the Royal Theater in Copenhagen until his voice changed. He tried to act and join ballet, but his clumsiness prevented him from advancing in this career. He tried to work with his hands, but he couldn't do it either. All he could do was go home and admit defeat.
Finally, when he was 17, Andersen caught the attention of Chancellor Jonas Collins, director of the Royal Theater in Copenhagen. Collin read Andersen's play and saw that he had talent. He got money from King Frederick VI for education and was sent to a school near Copenhagen. First in Slagels, and later in Elsinore (Helsingør). His teacher Meisling, an embittered man, treated him rudely, mocking him for his ambition to become a writer. Finally, Collin took responsibility for the young Andersen and arranged for him to study with a private teacher in Copenhagen. In 1828, at the age of 23, Andersen passed the entrance examinations at the University of Copenhagen.
Andersen's writings began to be published in Danish in 1829. In 1833 the king gave him financial aid for travel and so Andersen spent 16 months wandering Germany, France, Switzerland, and beloved Italy. He wrote poems, plays, novels, and travel impressions. In the period from 1831 to 1873, he was on 30 trips to other countries.
In 1835, he published "Fairy Tales for Children" with four short stories, and those who read the stories wanted more, so Andersen published 168 or 169 fairy tales. He wrote the stories just the way he would tell them. Although he never married and had no children of his own, he was the best at interpreting the nature of children.
Hans Christian Andersen died on August 4, 1875.
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