The ugly duckling must have felt how it felt mistreated, rejected and despised but fellow darks just because she looked ugly. Hans Cristian fairy tale explores the miserable fairly of the ugly duckling that grew without having peace from neither any of the animal she came close. Throughout the story, the ugly duckling accepts her fate and realizes how the image of those ugly she is remained only in her mind when she meets the different birds, the swans. Hans makes an excellent use of symbolism and imagery to reflect the normal lives of humans and hoe those despised in the society by their looks can overcome it (Andersen.pg 4).
The negative perception of the ugly duckling begins right before she comes to the world. Her egg overstays before hatching completely her other siblings have already hatched and active. While the older geeks encourage her mother to discard the egg because it is probably of a turkey, she begins the path bad luck. The ugly duckling is symbolically used to present human responses to situation that show little hope and chances of improving. Andersen perfectly uses this symbolic feature to portray the human behavior using the “ugly duckling” situation.
By the choice of the grey color and the ugly duckling, Andersen forces the reader to visualize the image of the ugly duckling as compared others. It suggests a life of sympathy under which the ugly duckling lives from the mistreatment from other ducks and the hens. It is important to notice that how Andersen emphasizes between the themes of ugliness in relation to rejection. Because of being ugly, the young duckling has been isolated from playing with others. In addition, she has also been rejected by her mother ducks and because she was born angry, at some instances, the mother wishes she were not born at all. The other ducks wishes she met with the cat and eaten up. These reaction are the source if depression for the ugly duckling.
The reader can evaluate the effects of family isolation to members of the family who are less fortunate. It is a common behavior in relationships that people with a specific problem may be overlooked. Other than help them feel appreciated and loved, they are condemned and bullied which is a source of depression and feeling of rejection. The mother duck and the other siblings are living on a well-protected environment. The life of the ugly duckling shows the nature of lives that humans live. Comparing ducks with the human lives, no one wants to associate with unpleasant people. The ugly ducks considers herself very ugly that the desperately accepts her fate (pg.5).
Due to the pressure from the ducks that are supposed to be closest to her and reassure her of her condition, the ugly duckling decides to fly further always from where she can avoided family’s contact especially the bully’s from other ducks because of her ugliness. This migration of ugly duckling shows that ability of one to makes decisions on matters that affect our daily lives. Andersen explores the theme of betrayal. Because of betray, the young duck chooses to move away from the family that she call home. This happens several instances when feelings of betrayal influence our decisions. Although not the ultimate best decision to take in life, it is at times the best considerable option (Etzioni, pg. 84-89).
The running away of the ugly duck turns to present her with the exposure she lacked in the in the well-protected environment that she is brought up. Withstanding the storms and with determination to find a new home, the ugly duckling meets the wild ducks in which she has found a new company. Again, she comes to terms with her ugliness that is well recognized by the wild geese at the first instant. However, under certain conditions of marrying one of their own, she is offered the chance to stay with them without discrimination. Antony uses the experience to demonstrate that everyone has his/her own problems. The wild geese have their own problem too and want to intermarry with the ducks for reasons not presented in the story. However, the reader can guess that being from the forest; these ducks will want to have their own intermarry with domestic ducks. They seem also to facing a more serious problem that threatens their existences, violence.
As the hunters have developed a taste for wild geese, it is there best interest to ensure that some of them survive from the spreading gun hunting that threatens their existence. Before more could be agreed upon the prospective marriages of the wild ducks and the ugly duckling, the hunter’s strike again, this time ambushing the unsuspecting ducks in the preparation of welcoming the visitor. Although the ugly duckling survives, it was because she is smart. The ugly duck beliefs that her ugliness is what saved her from the attacking hunters dogs (pg.7).
This case presents the theme of beliefs and the role they play in the lives of those who hold them. The duck believes that her ugliness saved her from the deadly hands of the attacking hunters. Although it is not probably the case, her beliefs probably work for her. In comparison of the case to humans, our beliefs at time influence how we associate chance and good lack to our appearance. it is not possible to tell what saved the duck, belief or good luck, but at least Antony makes her survive the incidence to leave the writer in doubt.
As the ugly duck escapes the hunters experience frightened of what had transpired, she moves on to the next important plot of the fairy tale. The cottage belonging to a woman who owns her hen and her cat named Tom. The woman has no children according to the story the hen and the cats are her only family. Although the cat is preference of the woman, the hen is liked for laying good eggs. It therefore becomes a challenge for the ugly duck to fit in the family without any significance role that she plays. She cans only swim and never lay eggs (pg.8). The moment defines the factors that form the judgment part of the society. Through developing the characters of tom and the hen, Antony engages the reader to visualize a setting of friends where ones expectations are used to gauge the capabilities of the other.
It is clear that the ugly duck has joined a new setting where the woman values the hen and the cat because of the various contribution thy make in her lonely life. They form part of her company and the presence of the ugly duck without any contribution to make to the life of the woman bringing a sharp contrast of a society where what you contribute is what you are gauged from (Blumson, n.p).
In the real life analysis, the life of the duck among the hen, the cat and the woman can be compared to the actual happening among human friends. Some individuals expect that what they can do or deliver everyone have the ability to deliver too. They therefore set the standard according to these specific capabilities and consider those who cannot deliver to be worthless. It is also important to note that the egg is not perfect, but the eggs she lays form the most significant role that she plays in the life of the women owner.
It is also significant to learn from this case that it is also good to find something to contribute in the company of others so as not to be counted as worthless (Wall, pg. 194). Although the ugly duck was a smart swimmer, she did not leverage her skills with others and defend her capabilities, perhaps the consideration would have been different and the she would have received a chance to feel better and contribute to the group.
The final part of the fairy tale is the most interesting part for the reader. it is the moment that the ugly duck discovers herself after almost ready to give up in life. The moments she meets the swans who are welcoming and very friendly. Her bad experiences throughout the life she has experienced that good people do not exist. Well, in some instances, this may be true. It is hard to expect that someone will have a response that is positive after all the others have been the worst experience in their entire life. The duck also gives her life because she cannot bear the pain any more. She has been the through so much that it is worth dying in the hands of the hands of the swans that living a life of bullying, mistreatment just because she is ugly (pg.11).
On the contrary, the swans show love to the miserable duck and she begins to see herself through a different picture. She looks at her herself through the ice and no longer sees the ugly duck face she has carried and struggled in the entire. She sees a new, beautiful and elegant swan that can extend her wings and fly across as other swans.
Andersen gives the story an interesting conclusion. It has lessons to learn and experiences to remember. First, never give up in life because of who you are, always embrace those who are positive to you and finally, always see yourself in the eyes of those who value and appreciate you the way you are. The story also brings the question of morals of humans as symbolically portrayed by Andersen in her story. First, humans lack the most needed appreciation of others and fail to understand that diversity is beauty. In the case of bullying or mistreating others in the case of looks is both morally and ethically wrong.
Andersen, Hans Christian, and Karen Letts. The ugly duckling. IE Clark Publications, 1995.
Etzioni, Amitai. “The good society.” Seattle Journal of Social Justice 1.1 (2002): 83-96.
Wall, Goran. “Energy, society and morals.” Journal of human values 3.2 (1997): 193-206.
Blumson, Ben. “The Metaphysical Significance of the Ugly Duckling Theorem.”