We all remember the sweet story of the creature that was beatened, insulted, scorned, discriminated and put down by others that didn’t know about him. How many things he had to endure and one might ask, how could he have continued his life in such misery! This is because pain – the main theme of this profound tale – and all that is related to it is now set aside without question.
The ugly duckling is a story that talks about true suffering and how only the strong can possibly continue without considering self-elimination.
Hans Christian Andersen – with his imaginative way of expressing things – shows the reader a deep sense of how hardships can get the best out of us.
However I’m not going to stop on all that this poor creature had to undergo but on the fact that he did endure them without asking himself if it wouldn’t be better to just disappear and leave everyone alone, as it was that his being “ugly” bothered them. The Ugly Duckling is the representation of how we confront the difficulties that are presented to us in our daily lives. If you come to think of it, the ugly ducking didn’t have any extraordinary difficulties. He wasn’t attacked by eagles or even but the cats with which he had encountered. He suffered no illnesses, no mutations, nothing out of the ordinary. His problems would be what we call “normal”: interactions with other farm animals, the changing of seasons and encounters with humans.
So why endure them if they would be so easily eliminated? I think that HCA wanted to show the world that through hardships came beauty. At first the creature was an ugly fellow and thats when it felt as if the whole world came at him. We can relate this to what is known as bullying. Only the strong survive, but is strength only measured physically? When it comes down to it, the ugly duckling would be the characterization of strength both physically and spiritually. Because of this, he obtains a humble and noble heart, making him the most beautiful swan of the area.
Pain and suffering are things that many scientists and all philosophers consider. Some consider that it’s endurance is obsolete and unnecessary, which is why they try to eliminate it without asking themselves if some good could come of it. Through this story HCA shows that suffering is not an absolute evil that has to be overcome by what ever means necessary. It is only through them that we can gain other – if not all – virtues that is expressed as perfection and beauty – for what the soul is or has, it reflects in some physical way.
We all know how the story ends and this makes us wonder if we will end our personal story the same way.
Here is the link for the full story.