English 102 B16
The Ugly Duckling Analysis
The tale of “The Ugly Duckling” has been told for many generations. It is the story of a little swan that is mistakenly hatched in a duck’s nest and because of his strange and different appearance he is teased and ridiculed. Even his mother can’t understand how this “ugly duckling” could be one of her own. The ugly duckling goes through many hardships and a long, lonely winter. Then upon seeing his reflection in the pond he realizes that he has become a beautiful swan and happily swims off, joining a group of nearby swans.
At first glance, many may perceive this as a cut and dry fairy tale. Sending the message that without outward beauty, you will never be able to achieve inner peace and happiness. I feel that with the writing of this tale Andersen was trying to send a different message. I think Andersen was trying to encourage us to be true to ourselves and to have tolerance and acceptance of others. By remaining true to ourselves and following our dreams we will someday acquire the inner peace and happiness we desire.
Next, there are four themes of writing to choose to follow from. In this story the theme is man vs. society. It is man vs. society because the little duckling is being left out and made fun of by society. He is being treated differently because he looks different than a normal duckling should look like. Because he was born later than his siblings and he looks different from all of them and from anything that the other ducks have ever seen, he is excluded from the society that he was born into. It was so stressful and un-bearable that he decided to run away from society and live on his own to try and find his place in the world.
In many stories the author tries to teach the reader a lesson in life. The lesson that is being taught here is not to...