doo do doo dee do dee doo (*This is the theme song, Ladies and Gentlemen*) doot doot doooooo. What do you get—doot doot doo—when you put a writer in a blender and puree him too then add a little fairy dust? What's that do? It gives you something—doodily doo—but not just anything. No! It gives you something that's something like a fairy tale, but maybe not a fairytale even if the writer says it’s a fairy tale. So what do we—doot doot—do? We ask the question. Yes, we ask the question. What's the question that we ask? (*You are supposed to shout this next line with the TV screen so as to add to you experience*) HOW'S THAT A FAIRYTALE!
Host: Yes, Ladies and Gentlemen, it is that time again. Time for everyone's favorite show that answers the question that everyone's asking: How's that a fairytale? Today we'll be discussing—or maybe I should say listening to me lecture about—
Host: The Little Match Girl. This story chronicles the death and redemption of a poor child whose livelihood and family's security is contingent on her ability to peddle matches to the public a penny apiece. On the night of New Year's Eve, the time over which our entire acquaintance with her takes place, we learn that life has been a cruel mistress to the child, who fears the beating and reproach she is destined to receive upon returning home to her father without having sold a single match the entire day and not having earned a single penny. Her dread is compounded by the lack of heat in her house which is so very similar to the cold of the streets as it starts to snow. In irony, she holds the matches, a source of heat unconsumed as she slowly freezes to death. It is in this revelation that she chooses to warm her numb hands by expending but a single match and letting her body and soul be relieved of their plight. The light afforded by the match incites the young girl to dream and imagine, in short, to be uplifted to a higher plane of existence wherein her suffering does not matter and she can overcome the world. Unfortunately, the single match lasts for only a short while and the girl is left cold and wanting in the snow, so she, of course, lights another. Then, when it is spent, she lights the remainder of the matches in order to truly transcend the material world—by dying… She is found in the morning by the townspeople frozen to death and everyone thought that the girl's death was a tragedy because they couldn't understand or know of the radiant visions she had had or her transcendence. She died with a smile on her face. The end… Wow! That was a doozy. Sorry about the uncharacteristically long exposition, and especially the lack of humor involved. To make up for it, I'll try to refrain from listless gravity for the remainder of the show. I know I'd turn me off if I were as boring as that last bit!
Host: Well, it appears that I have, here, my work cut out for me today. How could I ever hope to prove that this unusual allegory is a fairytale? … I can't. … Just kidding!
Host: I tricked you! How naïve! Of course I can prove it is a fairytale and why, otherwise I wouldn't be the host of this show. But if I'm going to answer the question, I'm going to need your help. I need you to ask it.
Host: How's that a fairytale indeed, Folks. Well, let us start off by analyzing from this tale some of the important markers of the author's project. He wants reevaluate our perspective in order to do two things: emphasize a very aesthetic value system wherein the imagination and creativity are considered in their own right as worthy ends and convince the poor to commit suicide…
Host: No, but really, his other objective is to present a very Christian set of values and considerations of such things as poverty and suffering—which suggests that the poor should commit suicide in order to evade the hardships of the world…
Host: Now, with these aims in mind, we can understand the very clear project Hans Christian Andersen saw in this piece. As an extension to the fairytale genre which he was attempting to found in his collection of works, this was one of the less characteristic stories. Good thing too…
Host: In this particular story in spite of its rarity, Andersen does still utilize magic. He uses, however, magic in a very unique way among fairytale writers such that the magic is from only one source, God in the Christian tradition. Even the magical transformative powers of the imagination in this story are implicit of the power of God. Luckily for fireplaces everywhere, however, God chose not to inspire any other match girls.
Host: So it really utilizes magic in a very traditional way as the solution to the problem and ends with the positive resolution rampant in the fairytale genre… It just has a really twisted interpretation on what those are… And That, Ladies and Gentlemen, is how "The Little Match Girl" is a fairytale!
Host: Goodnight, everybody. Thank you for watching, I hope to see you again next week when answer the question