Death is the Small Price to Pay for Immortality
As Hans Christian Andersen’s days dwindled down, the reoccurring question going through his mind dealt with the role of the artist and what it’s impact has on creating a legacy. Andersen often feared that his work would become everything he had ever worked for, encompassing and overshadowing the life of the artist, leaving only what was physically left behind for people to remember and not Andersen himself. By judging many of Andersen’s fairy tales and other stories, it is evident that there is a direct parallel between Andersen’s life and the characters/plot of the stories written. The connection between Hans Christian Andersen’s life and his written works is able to help the reader better understand the predicaments and contradictions in which many artists face on their way to leaving a immortal legacy behind following their death. By looking into Hans Christian Andersen’s own life and relating it to his stories, we can get a closer look into what Andersen’s view on the role of the artist is. Andersen felt that through art, one could make the world theirs; they had the power to change the world, even if it was just in a simple work of art or story. In order to create art, one must not be of a specific social standing or position, but rather one with a gift to create a picture from the inside no matter how rich or poor, which in turn made art so accessible to the underprivileged. Andersen could be seen using the theme ‘Value of Artist’ vs. ‘Value of Art’ within his works. His viewpoint behind the value of the two was that he understood the artist will die at some point, but the work will live on. He uses this viewpoint within his story ‘The Bronze Pig’, where the young boy becomes an artist, much like the way Andersen did in his life, and has him dying later on in the story to show that artwork will keep his memory alive. That same boy, when younger, didn’t take notice of who made the art on his “Grand...
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