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The motif Graveyard in HCA : She Was Good for Nothing (1852)
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The motif Graveyard in HCA : She Was Good for Nothing (1852)

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Keywords:

Church, death

Description of this motif: Graveyards are a frequently present location in Hans Christian Andersen's fairy tales. The motif is usually not remarkably described in any way; Focus is, as one might expect, on graves, the dead, sorrow, devotion and faith. One unusual, "Gothic" romantic example is the tale about the "The Child in the Grave", in which a grieving mother goes underground at the graveyard in her longing for her late child.

Example :

"There was some nonsense about love between my brother and her," said the Mayor. "It's just as well she's out of the way. Now it will all come to the boy, and I'll place him with some honest people who will make him a good workman." And on these words our Lord laid his blessings.

(...)

They carried her to the churchyard, to a pauper's grave. Maren planted a little rose tree on her grave, while the boy stood beside her.

"My darling mother," he said as the tears started from his eyes. "Is it true that she was good for nothing?"

"No, it is not true!" said the old woman, looking up to heaven. "I have known it for many years and especially since the night before she died. I tell you she was a good and fine woman, and our Lord in heaven will say so, too, so let the world say: 'She was good for nothing!'"

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