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