The Snow Queen-Seventh Story: Of the Palace of the Snow Queen and What Happened there at Last

The Snow Queen-Seventh Story: Of the Palace of the Snow Queen and What Happened there at LastThe Snow Queen-Seventh Story: Of the Palace of the Snow Queen and What Happened there at Last

Gerda made it to the Snow Queen’s palace, which was made of drifted snow. Harsh winds cut through and made doors and windows. There were many rooms each cold and barren, the longest of which was over a mile. In the center of the palace was a large lake. Upon its surface were pieces of ice that were precise pieces that would fit together. In the center of this lake was where the Snow Queen had her throne. There by her sat Kay. He was blue but did not feel cold because the Snow Queen had kissed away his coldness and turned his heart to ice. Kay would sit and play with pieces of ice. They didn’t look like anything special, but because of the piece of glass in his eye and heart, they looked like extraordinary things, including words. The Snow Queen had told Kay that if he managed the word “eternity” he would be free and have the whole Earth and a new pair of skates.

The Snow Queen decided that she must be off to Mt. Etna and Vesuvius to make their tops covered with snow. Gerda went up to Kay, where she found him cold. He did not recognize her. She wept hot tears which fell upon Kay and penetrated his heart. His heart warmed and thawed. The piece of glass was pushed out. When this happened, Kay began to cry, and as he did so, the piece of glass in his eye fell out. All of this caused Kay’s bits of ice to make the word eternity. Kay was free to go. The Snow Queen no longer had a hold upon him.

Kay and Gerda left the palace. The reindeer was still standing where they had left him, but he had brought another reindeer along, a female. Her udders were full of milk. Kay and Gerda had their fill and rode to the house of the Finland woman, where they were thoroughly warmed in her hot house. Then they rode to the house of the Lapland woman.

They then left the Lapland woman and went to the forest, where they met the little Robber-Girl. She had left her robber family and was on her own now. She wore a red hat and carried pistols on her belt. The Robber-Girl, as sassy as ever, asked Kay if he wondered if he was worth going all across the world for. Gerda then asked after the prince and princess. They had gone traveling. The old crow was dead.

Gerda and Kay kept walking. They finally made it to their home city. They went into their old home. The clock was still ticking on the wall, but they perceived that they were grown up now. They were man and woman. The grandmother was still there. She read to them both out of the Bible. Kay and Gerda were grown up but knew that they should become as little children to enter into the kingdom of God. They sat in the summer weather and were like children at heart.

The End

Turkdel8Observations

The Snow Queen’s palace sounds like the Fortress of Solitude. Why do all these beings have to go to the North Pole and build houses of ice and snow to be alone?

The more I read about the Snow Queen, the more she sounds like the White Witch from The Chronicles of Narnia, although, the Snow Queen doesn’t seem quite as evil as the White Witch.

There was no showdown between Kay and Gerda and the Snow Queen. This says something about the Snow Queen. She wasn’t necessarily bad. She wasn’t a villain, although, it kind of seemed like she was, she really wasn’t. Sure, she took Kay away, but he kind of went of his own accord due to the pieces of glass in his heart and eye. Because she wasn’t a villain, there was no need for the final showdown we’re all so familiar with in storytelling.

B6XS0XgCQAA-15HThemes

Think of this entire story as the story of a relationship and a story of man and woman. Kay and Gerda ended up being adults at the end of their tale. They were gone for a long time, probably. They went away children and came back, adults. That’s how life works. We start out as children, innocent, and knowing nothing of the world, but we always end up as adults. The ills of the world touch us and form us in various ways. We go through hardships. We go through trials. Sometimes we have to search for others in our lives.

Kay was the one who veered from the path of righteousness, but Gerda was always the one who was good. This is a sexist idea that we keep perpetuating. The woman is always seen as the more pious counterpart in any relationship, while the man, everyone knows, is going to carouse about and do bad things, maybe he’ll come around at some point, maybe he won’t.

There are people who even say that there will be more women in heaven because women are more righteous and men are prone to sinning, so there will be more of them in Hell. Seriously? Men and women both have the same capacity for good and for evil. Just because a woman is a woman, doesn’t mean she’s going to end up in Heaven, or in Hell, or wherever. The same goes for a man.

Why couldn’t it have been Gerda who got the piece of glass in her eye? There is really no reason it couldn’t have been.

Gerda goes through Hell and back to get Kay back. She endures so many hardships herself, while Kay is seemingly oblivious to the whole thing, again, this is rather sexist. We always assume the woman is working harder at everything and the man does stupid crap unknowingly. “Oh, he doesn’t understand that he was hurting you or that you didn’t like that.” Bull crap.

This is a fairy tale, but Hans reflected some rather realistic struggles and attitudes between men and women. This story is what society expected to happen. Gerda was the good one. Kay was the one who veered off course. They both learned a valuable lesson as they grew up and both ended up “coming to Jesus.” Gerda was able to win Kay over, eventually, with her pious practices. It took her years, but it happened.

Overall

I’m glad Gerda was able to get Kay back, but Kay could have helped her out a bit.

Weigh In

How realistic is it that the man sits and plays with his toys while the woman moves mountains?

If this whole thing sounds familiar, do you think men are actually clueless or do you think they’ve been conditioned to be clueless?

The Snow Queen-Second Story: A Little Boy and a Little Girl

The Snow Queen-Second Story: A Little Boy and a Little GirlThe Snow Queen-Second Story: A Little Boy and a Little Girl

There was once a little boy and a little girl. The boy’s name was Kay and the girl’s name was Gerda. They were the best of friends. Their homes were right next door to each other. The houses were built in such a way that Gerda and Kay could stop out of windows on the second floor and meet each other in the middle.

On the roof were some planter boxes. In one box were herbs in another box was a rose bush. The children often liked to sit in under the rose bush and talk and play. In the winter, the windows froze shut. If they wanted to see each other in the cold months, they had to go down the stairs inside their homes, out into the cold, and then around to the other house.

In the winter, Kay’s grandmother told him about the Snow Queen. All the snowflakes whirring around were snow bees. There was also a Snow Queen. One day Kay looked out the window and saw a large snowflake. It fell near the flower boxes. It grew larger and larger until it appeared to be a woman. The little woman nodded at him and waved, but he was frightened. The woman was gone.

The spring came and Gerda and Kay were sitting out by the rose bushes. As luck would have it, one of the pieces of the awful looking-glass fell into Kay’s eye. Gerda was concerned, but Kay said he thought he had gotten it out, but he had not. A piece of the glass also went into his heart and turned it to ice. He began to find fault in everything. He began to tease Gerda. He began to imitate people on the street. People said he was clever, but really, it was the awful looking-glass working its terrible magic on him.

The winter came again. This time Kay took his sled down to the square to play with the other boys. The boys would often hitch their sleds to bigger sleds and ride around behind them. Kay hitched his sled to a particularly interested looking sled. Its passenger was wrapped in a large white fur, or so it seemed. Kay went faster and faster. The snow got denser and denser. Kay could not unhook himself from the big sled. He had to stay on.

Finally, the sled did stop. The person inside stood up. The fur turned out to be all snow, which fell away. She came to Kay and kissed him. The kiss was ice-cold and cooled Kay and his already mostly ice heart. She kissed him again and he forgot all about Gerda and his home. The Snow Queen would not kiss him again lest he die.

She invited him into her furs, where they rode on and on. There were crows and wolves. They arrived wherever they arrived. Kay slept at the feet of the Snow Queen.

Observations

This story sounds an awful lot like the White Witch from The Chronicles of Narnia. I wonder if this story is where C.S. Lewis got his idea for the White Witch. There are many similarities between the two women.

Themes

If we looked at this story without its fantastic elements, we would see the story of a boy growing up and becoming too old for his playmate, who was a girl. It happens. It happens every day. Does that make it any less sad? No, it does not. Girls and boys will play together fine when they’re toddlers and younger children, but when they grow up a few years, they start to recognize that there are divides between the sexes. There really shouldn’t be, but kids are perceptive. They’ll begin to think that they should play with only boys or only girls, whatever the case may be.

Kay’s behavior is normal little boy behavior. I have three younger brothers, I know. People don’t repeat that rhyme about boys being made of puppy-dog tails and such for nothing. Boys are boys. They do boy things. Part of it has been socially conditioned into them and part of it is just their nature. I don’t know how much of a boy’s nature you can socially condition out of him.

Kay would have done these things because he’s a boy child. Does that mean we can’t have some explanation as to why a boy-child would do these things? No, we can have our own explanations for these things and this is exactly what this story is. It’s an explanation of human behavior. Why do little boys shun the little girls they used to be friends with as young children? It is, of course, not an accurate explanation as this fabled mirror really doesn’t exist, but it’s nicer than just saying that little boys can be brats.

Overall

I wonder what will happen to Kay.

Weigh In

Do you think there is a line between how much child behavior is conditioned by parents/society and how a child generally acts?

Do you think that Kay’s behavior is normal little boy behavior? Or could it have been conditioned out of him?

The Snow Queen: Story the First, Which Describes a Looking-Glass and the Broken Fragments

The Snow Queen: Story the First, Which Describes a Looking-Glass and the Broken FragmentsThe Snow Queen: Story the First, Which Describes a Looking-Glass and the Broken Fragments

There was once a hobgoblin, who happened to be the most wicked of all hobgoblins. One day he decided to make a looking glass.

“He made a looking-glass which had the power of making everything good or beautiful that was reflected in it almost shrink to nothing, while everything that was worthless and bad looked increased in size and worse than ever. The most lovely landscapes appeared like boiled spinach, and the people became hideous, and looked as if they stood on their heads and had no bodies. Their countenances were so distorted that no one could recognize them, and even one freckle on the face appeared to spread over the whole of the nose and mouth.”

This looking-glass caused the hobgoblin to have great amusement at the misery of others. At his school, because he had a school, the other hobgoblins were enthralled with the mirror. They took it to all the lands of the Earth. They said that everyone could see how the world and humanity really was.

They endeavored to take the looking-glass to heaven. As they flew, up and up, the looking-glass became slippery. Finally, it fell to the Earth and shattered.

“But now the looking-glass caused more unhappiness than ever, for some of the fragments were not so large as a grain of sand, and they flew about the world into every country. When one of these tiny atoms flew into a person’s eye, it stuck there unknown to him, and from that moment he saw everything through a distorted medium, or could see only the worst side of what he looked at, for even the smallest fragment retained the same power which had belonged to the whole mirror. Some few persons even got a fragment of the looking-glass in their hearts, and this was very terrible, for their hearts became cold like a lump of ice.”

Other pieces of the looking-glass became windows and spectacles. Each piece caused misery wherever it went and the hobgoblin was delighted to no end. The stories to follow will tell what happened to some of the pieces of the looking-glass.

treasuremap spongebobObservations

Let’s talk about this mirror becoming slippery. I don’t know if this is in the Bible anywhere, but in other scriptures, there is talk of treasure becoming slippery. This mirror was a treasure, to the hobgoblins at least.

In Helaman 13:31 the following is detailed:

And behold, the time cometh that he curseth your riches, that they become slippery, that ye cannot hold them; and in the days of your poverty ye cannot retain them.

This is in a passage of scripture speaking of the wickedness of men and their treasures. Basically, wicked men would gain treasures and try to hide them from the Lord, but the Lord would cause them to become slippery so the evil men could not retain them.

These were treasures that these evil men had obtained in an evil manner or they were planning on using said treasures for evil. That describes the mirror in this story. This hobgoblin made it in order to do evil. He let other hobgoblins use it to do evil. The eviler their plans got, the more slippery the mirror became. Trying to ruin heaven with a distorted mirror is pretty darn evil.

Basically, if you’re bad, there is a chance that the things you value might slip out of your grasp. Maybe God did it, maybe it was karma, maybe it was even you. However it happened, you lost something you valued because of your actions.

distorted body imageThemes

I love the idea in this story of there being this mirror that broke into all these little pieces that cause us to see the bad things in the world.

We can look at this story many ways, but what is important to remember about the story is that our view can be distorted and it’s not necessarily a good thing, in fact, it’s probably never a good thing. If we were to look through this glass at other people, we would see their faults. We might find a person ugly when we had no cause to. If we looked through this glass at the world, we would only see the bad in the world. If we let a piece of this mirror pierce our hearts, we would see bad in everything around us and be unfeeling. If we looked through this mirror at ourselves, we would only see our faults. We would think we were ugly when we were not. We would believe that we were fat when we were not. We would put ourselves down because our view was distorted.

This is some powerful stuff. This story assumes that it is not a natural state to be a pessimist. If you are a pessimist, something has gone wrong. Honestly, I tend to think like that, although, I have been known to be pessimistic in times. I don’t believe that we naturally want to see the bad things in the world. There is something that acts upon us and causes us to look at the bad instead of the good. Is it a magically evil broken mirror? Probably not, it’s more likely that it’s how society conditions us that causes us to see the bad in the world, but the mirror story sounds a lot better.

I think if a person could imagine that something acted upon them and caused them to see the bad in everything and everyone, then, maybe, a person could try to extract that from themselves.

Overall

I love this idea.

Weigh In

Do you think young girls could benefit from the idea of this mirror distorting their views in relation to body image?

Do you feel that people who are pessimistic have some kind of filter they’re looking through at the world?