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The motif Faith in HCA : The Ice Maiden (1861)
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The motif Faith in HCA : The Ice Maiden (1861)

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Religious motifs : Overview. Search. About religious motifs

Keywords:

Mind, soul, way of living, conduct

Description of this motif: Faith is described both from the outside and from within. Seen from the outside faith is described as e.g. churches, mass, monks and nuns, people praying, seen from within faith is a person's piece of mind, hope and faith in God and life and existence.

Example 1:

(...) in the glacier crevasse – that cold, strange ice world, where the Swiss peasant believes the souls of the damned are imprisoned till doomsday.

Comment on this quote: The main character Rudy was only one year old, when his father died, and he lost his mother not long after. She fell into a glacier with Rudy. He survived, but the demonic ice maiden wants him...

Example 2:

A deserted stone hut, beyond the snowfields, gave them shelter and comfort for the night. Here they found charcoal and pine branches, and a fire was soon kindled. Sleeping quarters were arranged as well as possible, and the men settled near the blazing fire; they smoked their tobacco and drank some of the warm, spiced beverage they had prepared – and they didn't forget to give Rudy some.

The talk turned to the mysterious creatures who haunt the high Alps: the huge, strange snakes in the deep lakes – the night riders – the spectral host that carry sleepers through the air to the wonderful, floating city of Venice – the wild herdsman, who drives his black sheep over the green pastures: these had never been seen, although men had heard the sound of their bells and the frightful noise of the phantom herd.

Rudy listened to these superstitious tales with intense interest, but with no fear, for that he had never known; yet while he listened he imagined he could hear the roar of that wild, spectral herd. Yes! It became more and more distinct, until the men heard it too. They stopped their talking and listened to it, and then they told Rudy that he must not fall asleep.

Example 3:

But the guidebooks tell nothing about Babette's quiet life in her father's house – not at the mill, for strangers live there now – in the pretty house near the railway station, where many an evening she gazes from her window beyond the chestnut trees to the snowy mountains over which Rudy had loved to range. In the evening hours she can see the Alpine glow – up there where the daughters of the sun settle down, and sing again their song about the traveler whose coat the whirlwind snatched off, taking it, but not the man himself.

There is a rosy glow upon the mountain's snow fields; there is a rosy tint in every heart in which lives the thought, "God wills what is best for us!" But it is not always revealed to us as it was revealed to Babette in her dream.

Comment on this quote: The song about the traveler whose coat the whirlwind snatched off, taking it, but not the man himself – a fable of Aesop. In this context it means that the ice maiden, or death itself, may have taken Rudy's body (the coat), but not his soul (the man himself) – Rudy's soul has been set free, rising into heavenly light. Cf. Babette's dream.
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