Tales of Faerie is proud to bring you its first ever guest post! I have been an admirer of Spinning Straw Into Gold for a while now; Christie's posts always give me lots of food for thought, and her blog is on my list of regular must-reads. I was absolutely thrilled when she agreed to write a guest post for us here! Please enjoy reading her thoughts on "The Little Match Girl".
I don’t claim Anderson was thinking of this very theology when he wrote The Little Match Girl, but it does give one pause for thought. The three visions lit from three matches are preludes to or glimpses of the fourth beatific vision, that of the grandmother who “had never looked so big or so beautiful.” It is in the final vision that the little girl is taken up with her grandmother to be “where there was no more cold, no hunger, no pain, for they were with God.”
Janet and Anne Graham Johnstone
The theme has not escaped notice. Composer David Lang won the 2008 Pulitzer Prize for music with The Little Match Girl Passion.
In another example, the namesake character of The Little Mermaid experiences the daily passion of the sensation of walking on knives. When she finally sees her beloved find happiness with another, her acceptance of this suffering is transformative. It gives her a lease-to-own soul of sorts, something she wouldn’t have had otherwise.
Lastly, the matches lit by the little girl are reminiscent of the four candles of the Advent wreath, each lit during one of the four weeks leading up to Christmas, in anticipation of the solstice holiday (holy day). The candles are symbols to remind observers of the light of the Christ child and the guiding star, the halo of eternity at the end of the earthly journey, and the season of new life to come in spring. The worst is almost over.