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The motif Omen in HCA : The Stone of the Wise Man (1858)
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The motif Omen in HCA : The Stone of the Wise Man (1858)

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Religious motifs : Overview. Search. About religious motifs

See also Prophet, prophecy

Keywords:

Augury, omen, portent, sign

Description of this motif: Signs, portents and omens are numerous in Andersen's fairy tales and stories. There are two main types of omens: omens evoked by experiments, socalled divination (asking the God(s) by, for example, tossing dice. Cf. Picturebook Without Pictures's First Evening), and omens that come unexpectedly, e.g. in a dream.

Example :

At last one night she dreamed that their voices sounded across to her, calling to her from out in the wide world, and she could not hold back, but traveled far, far away; and yet she seemed still to be in her father's house. She never met her brothers. but in her dream she felt a sort of fire burning in her hand that did not pain her – it was the shining jewel she was bringing to her father.

When she awoke she thought for a moment that she still held the stone in her hand, but it was the knob of her distaff that she was grasping. Through that long night she had spun incessantly, and on the distaff was a thread finer than the finest spider's web; human eyes could not distinguish the separate threads in it, so fine were they. She had moistened it with her tears, and it was as strong as a rope. She arose; her decision was made – the dream must become a reality.

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