The Little Match Girl book report - detailed analysis, book summary, literary elements, character analysis, H. C. Andersen biography, and everything necessary for active class participation.
The Little Match Girl is a story of a poor little girl who desperately tried to sell matches on a cold street otherwise her strict father would punish her. In the end, she died of cold on the frozen sidewalk. She tried to warm herself and when she lit each match, the events she had always dreamed of would appear.
Most of the time she dreamt of delicious food and warm clothes, but every time she wanted to reach for it the match would go out and the magic would disappear. When she lit the last match, she saw her late grandmother, whom she loved immensely and who eventually took her to heaven. The poor girl thus got rid of all her worries and her naughty father who was just taking advantage of her.
In his long writing career, Andersen has become most famous for his fairy tales read by children around the world as they have been translated into more than 40 languages. He wrote over 150 stories for children and thus became one of the world's most important writers. Some of his most famous fairy tales are The Little Mermaid, The Snow Queen, The Ugly Duckling, The Pea Princess, The Emperor's New Clothes, and others. Many of his works have remained the inspiration for many animated films, plays, ballets, paintings, and sculptures to this day.
But Andersen's fairy tales have not always been world-famous and recognized. Critics and audiences did not pay too much attention to his fairy tales and thought they were of little value. At first, they were retellings of stories he had heard and told to him as a child, but as time went on, he began to come up with and write them himself. His fairy tales combine legends, fiction, and myth with the real world in the best way.
The Little Match Girl is probably one of Andersen's saddest fairy tales set in the 19th century describing the unfortunate fate of a young child who experiences difficult moments and literally dies of cold and hunger while others are preoccupied with the glitter of New Year's Eve.
With this, the author tells us to stop and think sometimes. Life is not only about celebrations and festivities but also such unfortunate moments. We must be grateful for what we have, not just strive for material things and wealth. We must fill our hearts with love and warmth and think of those who live in poverty.
Other book reports
- The Brave Tin Soldier
- The Emperor's New Clothes
- The Little Mermaid
- The Nightingale
- The Princess and the Pea
- The Snow Queen
- The Swineherd
- The Ugly Duckling
Genre: fairy tale
Setting: New Year's Eve, the streets
Point of view: third-person
Narrator: an omniscient narration
Tone: helpless, sorrowful
Theme: a story about a poor little girl trying to sell matches to avoid the punishment and beatings she would receive from her father
Once upon a time, on a cold night, a small and very poor girl was walking down a dark street. It was New Year's Eve and it was snowing, but the little girl had no hat, no scarf, no shoes, she was so poor. She left the house in her mother's slippers, but they were too big for her little feet, so she lost one when she ran across the road in fear so as not to be run over by running carriages and the other one was stolen by a boy.
The girl walked around the city barefoot and sold matches. She wore them in her old apron, holding one box in her hand, offering it to passersby. She failed to sell a single box today. She was afraid to return home without a single penny she earned, so she continued to wander around the city, hoping to sell something as soon as possible.
The girl was soaked and completely frozen from the cold. Snow was falling on her, but she didn't even feel it because she was very hungry more than anything. She hadn't tasted anything all day. Walking through the city, she smelled the cold air filled with the scents of baking that spread everywhere. On New Year's Eve, many people roasted geese, and the thought of the beautiful, roasted meat in the girl only intensified her hunger.
The girl came to a lee between the two houses and huddled there trying to warm her frozen feet. She still didn't dare go home because she knew her father would beat her well because she hadn't sold anything. After all, there was nothing warm in the house where she lived. The girl lived in an attic where there were constant drafts, and cold air entered through holes in the roof, even though they had been clogged with rags and straw.
The girl's cold fingers were completely numb. She thought it would be nice to light a match and warm herself by her fire. So she took out a match and lit it against the wall. A warm flame lit up in front of the girl. She wrapped her fingers around the flame, but then noticed it burning with a strange flame. It seemed to the girl that she could see a large iron stove and a fire burning and heating everything around her. She stretched out her legs to warm them, but then the match went out and the stove disappeared. The girl was left in a cold alley with a burnt match in her hands.
She decided to light another one. But when she lit another match, in the reflection of the light the girl saw not only a large stove but the whole room, large in warmth. In the middle of the room stood a large table, beautifully furnished, with a large white tablecloth and fine porcelain dishes. The table was full of fine food, but the girl first caught the eye of a large and juicy roast goose. When the little girl reached for her, the match went out and the beautiful sight disappeared.
Sooner or later, the girl lit another match, hoping the goose would reappear in front of her, but this time the girl saw a large, lavishly decorated Christmas tree. It was the most beautiful Christmas tree the girl had ever seen! Thousands of small candles were burning on it, but when the girl reached out to touch them, the match went out. But this time the candles didn't disappear, they turned into great stars that began to rise high in the sky, creating a magical sight. The girl stared fascinated by the stars and noticed that one star was falling, leaving a clear trail behind. The girl shuddered and thought that someone had died at this very moment. When she was little, her grandmother told her that when a star is falling, it means that someone's soul is going to Heaven.
The girl lit a new match, and in the light of the flames, her grandmother appeared. The surprised little girl shouted after her grandmother! Tears welled up in her eyes and she asked her old, good grandmother to take her with her to Heaven. She knew that her grandmother would disappear as soon as the match burned out, so she lit the remaining matches just so that her dear grandmother would not disappear, as well as the stove, the goose, and the beautifully decorated Christmas tree. The matches burned in the bright light, and her grandmother was clearly visible in front of her. She reached for the girl and lifted her into her arms, then flew high into the sky, to a place where there is no cold or hunger.
After the cold and clear New Year's morning dawned, passers-by saw a girl with red cheeks and a big smile on her face in a small passage between the houses. The girl was sitting leaning against the wall, and when they approached her, they saw that she had died. Her body was frozen, and around her stood scattered, burnt matches. People felt sorry for the girl. They thought the poor girl just wanted to warm herself with those matches, but they didn't know how many beautiful things she had seen that night, and that she went with her grandmother to a nicer place.
Characters: the little match girl, grandmother, boy, passers-by, father
The little match girl - a poor little girl who, under the compulsion of a strict and naughty father, had to sell matches in order to earn money for the whole family. She had to sell matches regardless of the weather conditions, which were sometimes harsh. Exposed to the cold and poorly dressed, she is accustomed to living in poverty and without parental support. If she didn't sell matches, her father would beat her, so she didn't like coming home. But regardless of that, the conditions in which she lived were all just not good. In a dilapidated and cold attic full of holes and drafts, winters were often unbearable. The girl was of a good heart, and the life she lived was very unhappy. She was often hungry and barefoot.
She felt as if the whole world was not noticing her and everyone had forgotten her. No one offered her help even though she was poorly dressed in the middle of winter trying to survive. In grief and without support, the only consolation was the bright flame of a lighted match.
Apart from warming up a bit when she turned it on, the beautiful scenes would appear before her eyes: a warm fireplace, a goose on the table, and a beautifully decorated Christmas tree. But in the end, she saw the most beautiful scene, her late grandmother, whom she loved very much. She felt joy in her sad heart, and as her grandmother reminded her of a warm home, she cheerfully went with her to heaven. After that, she never felt hunger and poverty again.
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.