The Ugly Duckling, Literary Essay Sample

Published: 2022-04-05
The Ugly Duckling, Literary Essay Sample
Type of paper:  Essay
Categories:  Literature
Pages: 5
Wordcount: 1201 words
11 min read

"The ugly duckling." Is one of the amazing fairytales given by Hans Christian Andersen, an author and a poet from Denmark (Andersen).

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The story begins on a point where the egg of a mother duck hatches. There is one little bird perceived by the other bigger animal and birds as the homely little creature, the latter is not lucky and not at ease due to the physical and verbal abuses directed unto him. Under the violations, he tends to moves sorrowfully away from the corral to go and stay with the geese and ducks in the wild: that is until the hunters slaughter the flocks. Luckily enough he is sheltered by an old woman after his desert from his prior home, which was in search of a better environment with peace. In his new house, the old woman lives with a cat and a hen, they both start teasing him and taunting him without mercy. The peace that calmness that he was in search for cannot be found here too, and so he decides to flee from the home.

While in his flee, he sees wild swans migrating as a flock. He is tremendously excited and amazed by this. But unluckily he cannot manage to be in their company; this is because he is still very young and little thus cannot fly. The winter season enters, the little duckling is hit by the cold, and he freezes, but once by fortune, he is picked by a farmer who takes him home. At the farmer's home, there are boisterous children; it is them who installs fear in the duckling that sets off the house at this incident too. After the escape, he spends the cold and freezing winter alone on the fields; he frequently used to hide in a cave situated in a lake which was extremely cold. On the arrival of the spring, swans moving in flocks get down in lake which is now thawing.

At this point, the ugly duckling has grown ultimately enough and matured. Thus he decides to leave the life of solitariness in the wild and goes ahead to join the flock of swans. He leaves believing that it would do better to be killed by the beautiful looking birds rather than live a life that is full of loneliness, misery, and ugliness. To his surprise, when he goes to try and join the swan, they warmly accommodate him into their swan, but he only realizes after he looks at himself in the reflection of the water that he has also grown and changed to take after them. In the end, with the ugly duckling in their company, the flock takes into the air, he gladly spread his wings and joins the other members of his new found family (Andersen). This story is more than just a fairytale; symbolically it is all about the ugly duckling growing to become a better animal and him learning to accept himself after a lot of self-hate.

At the beginning of the story, we start where the egg of a mother duck hatches. When one dreams of a duck, it means being an easy spot target or a victim of circumstances (dream dictionary). It is also all bout lacking defense and being vulnerable in a lot of situation. Of all the known birds, the duck is a bird that does not have a constant habitat, it can live under the water, walks on the land, and even flies in the sky. With that, it means the duck is exposed to so many challenges and enemies in its different aspects of life. As it can relate from the story, the ugly little duck is exposed to so many problems, which is from his hatching place, and at both houses that he finds solace for a while. When he escapes the farmer's house things get worse in the winter climate, he had to stay in the cold for a long time.

The ducks also migrate often in flocks. Thus the message can be used to mean finding one's background or getting to be more sociable. The little duck in the story at the end joins the flock to find a place that he can source for company. He joins the flock to become more sociable, and the flock indeed welcomes him to their company. He finds a background of his own, and they move on as a bigger community. On the other hand, the egg is used to show a new form of something; it is a new direction that something is about to take. The course might be of a positive or negative note. In this case in point, the egg hatches and the little duck finds the environment hard to navigate due to despising from the bigger and beautiful grown bigger birds.

As the story progresses; the ugly little duckling escapes from the old woman's house, this happens during the winter period, he is taken by a farmer but still flees back to the winter freezing weather. Winter associates with things that are cold and those that are freezing. The weather is meant to insinuate one passing through challenging situations. The cold environment is a result of being thrown away from the standard setting. In this case, the little duck in the outdoors during winter first is when he escapes the old woman's house due to the teases from the hen and the cat, for the second time, he escapes after a lot of noise by the kids in the farmer's home. In the winter environment, the duck faces very tough conditions, this is because he is homeless and wherever he goes, no one accommodates him, but luckily, he finds a family of his own.

The fairy tale explores the life of the ugly little duckling, as it was his reference from the hatching. The duckling's hatching was in the company of other already grown bird who had already mature and change; this was symbolic of the despising that everyone faces at some point in our lives. It is not always that we will have people supporting us, we will have to pass through hard times when we are mocked and underrated by others who think they are better than us. The fleeing of the bird away for three instances compares to what happens to everyone when they feel undermined. No one will accept to stay in a group of people who do not receive them. But that should not let us undermine ourselves when other people think that we are not worthy to be part of their company, we should not swallow that ideology. Instead, it would do better to make a step ahead because everyone got their chances. After a long span of hardship, the duckling finally grows and gets to be like the others; he even doubts himself when the flock accepts him. That is what happens when we finally make it; it seems so big to take that it is us who at last made it.

Works cited

"Dream dictionary A-Z."

Andersen, Hans Christian. "The annotated ugly duckling."

Andersen, H. C. (1995). The ugly duckling. IE Clark Publications.

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