The Princess and the Pea book report - detailed analysis, book summary, literary elements, character analysis, Hans Christian Andersen biography, and everything necessary for active class participation.
The Princess and the Pea is a short but fascinating tale written by the famous Hans Christian Andersen. In his long writing career, Andersen became most famous for his fairy tales, which were read by children all over the world and were translated into more than 40 languages. He wrote over 150 stories for children and thus became one of the world's most important writers.
But Andersen's fairy tales were not always world-famous and recognized. Criticism and the public did not pay too much attention to his fairy tales and considered them to be of little value. At first, they were retellings of stories that he had heard and that someone had told him in his childhood, but as time went by, he began to write them himself. He combined fantasy with the real world in the best possible way.
The Princess and the Pea is a short but interesting fairy tale about a prince who wanted to marry a real princess. Luck smiled at him and sent a girl who claimed to be the real one. The prince's mother gave the princess a unique test to prove that the girl was a real princess. Namely, under dozens of mattresses and blankets, she placed a single pea to check if the princess would sense it.
This story tells us that there are ways to check the true nature of people. It is easy to say that we are one of a kind, but it is more difficult to prove it. In this story, the princess proves her sensitivity, which only a real princess who has been pampered all her life develops. The prince wanted exactly the right princess, so he got one.
The story is very short but contains all the elements of a fairy tale. There are no fairies or talking animals, but the most important thing each fairy tale has - a prince, a princess, and a moral of the story. The anecdote is simple and intended for the youngest because there are no negative elements or scary parts.
Other book reports
- The Brave Tin Soldier
- The Emperor's New Clothes
- The Little Match Girl
- The Little Mermaid
- The Nightingale
- The Snow Queen
- The Swineherd
- The Ugly Duckling
Setting: castle, once upon a time
Point of view: third-person
Theme: a story about the princess who had to prove she’s a real princess by sleeping on the pea covered by twenty mattresses
Read original story The Princess and the Pea online >>
Once upon a time, there was a prince who wanted to marry a princess, not some random girl pretending to be a princess, but a real one. At first, the prince ordered his servants to pack up all his stuff because he decided to go on a journey to find a real princess.
The prince headed off in golden carriages. He met a lot of beautiful ladies, princesses, and noble women but he did not feel like any of those women were real princesses, so he went back home sad. He admitted to his parents that not a single woman was the one from his dreams.
One night, there was a terrible storm with heavy rain. While the thunder was raging on, somebody knocked on the castle door. It was a girl who claimed she was a real princess.
The king opened the castle gates and let her in. Since the Queen was skeptical about the girl being a real princess, she took the pea, and placed it in the girl’s bedroom under ten mattresses, so she had to sleep on it.
In the morning, they asked her if she slept well and she said she didn’t sleep at all as she felt like she was sleeping on something hard. They realized she was a princess because she felt the pea underneath all those mattresses and only a real princess could be so sensitive. The prince and princess got married, and the pea was stored in a museum.
Characters: prince, princess, queen, servants
Prince - Prince is eager to get married, provided he finds a real princess. He is very picky, but in the end, he gets what he wants. He waited patiently for the real princess and she eventually knocked on his door. When the princess proved to be a real one, he was pleased to marry her. Prince is confirmation that it is ok to wait for someone or something we want, and not settle for less.
Princess - she grew up at court where everyone took very good care of her, so she became very sensitive.
The Queen - respected the decision and wished her son to marry only a real princess. She was smart enough to come up with a plan that will prove that she is the true princess. She has placed a pea under a lot of mattresses. She was inventive, and no one could trick her. She didn't believe the word until proven otherwise. However, she was pleased when the princess proved herself. Finally, she could marry her discerning son.
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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