The Ugly Duckling


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  Some consider that it’s endurance is obsolete and unnecessary, which is why they try to eliminate it without asking themselves if some good could come of it.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.


About María Gómez de la Torre

I'm a school teacher and I'm also a storyteller. I enjoy reading new children stories and commenting about them. I specially love dragon tales and stories about fairies. I love people commenting on my thoughts so please feel free to do so - as long as it's positive ;o)

6 responses »

  1. Es muy interesan te tu observacion y analisis…Lo comparto plenamente… No es necesario ser atacado por animales o monstruos…solo por seres similares a uno mismo…El asunto es SIEMPRE CREER EN TI…CREER EN UNO MISMO…. UNO LO PUEDE TODO, a pesar de malo que nos pueda haber pasado en la vida…. Chaufa…Felicitaciones de nuevo…

  2. A subtle and inspiring take on the story – I’d been toying with developing it for my repetoire, and now I definitely will. Thank you!

  3. This story was written during an age when most of the world was divided into very distinct classes: royalty, merchants and tradesmen, and peasants, etc. Andersen was also using this story to present the rather radical concept (at the time) that a person’s societal worth and nobility of character was determined by who he was, or became through his own efforts, rather than where he was born. “It does not matter that one has been born in a hen yard as long as he comes from a swan’s egg.”


  5. Hmm it looks like your site ate my first comment (it was super long) so I guess I’ll just sum it up what I submitted and say, I’m thoroughly enjoying your blog. I too am an aspiring blog writer but I’m still new to everything. Do you have any suggestions for newbie blog writers? I’d certainly appreciate it.

    • Dear Marjory,

      I don’t know what happened to your last comment. You have to be careful with the e-mail you submit when you write a comment because if not it usually goes to spam. I’m really glad that you like this blog. Hopefully I’ll be publishing my next post: Bearskin – a story collected by the Brothers Grimm. With regards to your question: the main idea of a blog is to communicate. Of course to communicate means that you have something to say. I want to communicate what I see within the stories I present or work on. I started this blog with the story “The Wild Swans” because it was the story I was going to present. I entered the story, became one of the characters and communicated to the world what I found.
      I hope this helps, though I don’t know what your blog will be about, but keep in touch.

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