The Importance Of Myth In Andersen's The Sweethearts

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Because social mobility was, in fact, an important part of society, people were able to start as the lowest of low on the social class ladder and move their way up in a variety of ways, both in Andersen’s stories, and in Denmark in the nineteenth century. In the tale “The Sweethearts,” the top makes its climb up the ladder with the help of others. The top is shown lower on the social ladder immediately when its proposes to the ball laying next to it in a drawer. The ball immediately refuses, and soon begins stating the reasons she is extremely superior to the top. The child who owns the top is able to boost its status and importance simply by painting it and adding a brand new nail for spinning. The top’s newfound importance is shown in the …show more content…
Without his new paint job and nail, he would have never had the ability to shoot up the social ladder. His rise was very obviously shown in the quote saying, “At that moment a maid came to throw something away. ‘Hurrah! There’s the golden top!’ she cried. The golden top was brought back to the living room, where he was honored and respected” (Andersen 20). The top went from being snubbed by the ball laying next to him in the toy drawer, to being a source of excitement on his return, honored, and respected.
Similarly, a boy in “The Children’s Prattle” follows the young, poor boy as he makes his rise on the social scene. He is immediately shown unable to enter a party of wealthier people in his town. He stands on the outside, and is immensely saddened because of his inability to enter. This sadness is strongly contrasted by his immense wealth and success apparent at the end of the tale. Unlike the top though, this boy moves up the social ladder
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The tale “The Sweethearts” follows the extreme demise of a once very valuable and “upper class” Moroccan ball. The ball begins the tale by spouting about how much better she was than everyone around her. After some time, she expectedly finds herself miserably rotting in a gutter. The top, who has recently found himself much higher up on the social ladder, ends up in the gutter briefly, and while up there, looks around; “The top glanced at the cabbage stalk and then at a funny round thing that looked like a rotten apple. But it wasn’t an apple; it was the old ball who had lain for years in the gutter, where the water had oozed through it” (Andersen 17). This is not a place that the ball would have ever imagined herself to be, and simply by an unlucky bounce, is stuck there for eternity. Her extreme social falling is highlighted by the falling of her appearance. She starts off as a fine leather ball, but is barely recognizable after some time in the gutter. By one act of bad luck, the Moroccan ball falls from the very top of the toy chain to a rotting form of her earlier self. The destitute living situation of the ball seems even worse than it actually was because it is shown in comparison to rise experienced by the top in his social standing. Although the top was initially the one to propose and then quickly get denied

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