Social Class In Hans Christian Andersen's The Son Also Rises

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Hans Christian Andersen was a writer who was known to integrate socially critical topics into his works. The social class structure is extremely prevalent in many of his tales, and because of this, the reader is able to infer Andersen’s views on these classes. Andersen had an advantage in his writing regarding social class because he himself was a part of multiple social classes throughout his life. Andersen was born into a poor family. Because of this, he started very low on the social ladder. Throughout his life, he worked very hard, and found great success in writing. Because of this success, Andersen climbed the social ladder steadily, and was able to better represent each class in his writings. In Hans Christina Andersen’s “The Sweethearts” …show more content…
Many instances in history show this rigidness of class, and the consistency of a social status throughout family lines. In an article titled, “The Son Also Rises: Surnames and the History of Social Mobility” states, “Most people believe, from their own experiences of families, friends, and acquaintances, that we live in a world of slow social mobility. The rich beget the rich, and the poor beget the poor” (Clark 3). This quote perfectly describes the beginnings of the tales previously discussed. The children in “Children’s Prattle” are of high class because of their parents social standing, and the ball in “The Sweethearts” is of high class because she came from high quality parents. The second line of the quote shows that most times, people born into a certain class will stay in that class. This is what the tales seem to be saying at their beginnings, but with time, it is clear that people can move both up and down the social ladder, and will be proven both in these tales, and in history. This quote argues that social mobility was slow, but was very much possible. The remainder of this article proceeds to discuss how the social classes were not as rigid as they may have appeared, and gives historical examples and evaluations. Both tales proceed to display social mobility, despite it not seeming possible in the beginning. Another article found titled, “Liberalism, Fascism, or Social Democracy,” states, “I want to make clear at the outset that I do not assume social classes possessed distinctive and coherent views of the world” (Lubbert 6). This quote, along with the rest of this article, also proves that social classes were not the strict boundaries they may have been thought to be. It also says that social classes do not possess a coherent view of the world, meaning there are better and more effective ways to look at the world, because the

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