Ugly Duckling Research

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We have all heard “The Ugly Duckling” when we were kids. My mom would read me the story every night until I soon memorized the whole thing. Till this day it is still my favorite fairytale story. I have done some research about the story to inform people about the facts behind “The Ugly Duckling”. I will be informing about the story history, characteristics, different versions, and modern adaptations. The original “Ugly Duckling” was written by a Danish poet named Han Christian Andersen.

The story was first published in Copenhagen, Denmark on November 11, 1843 in “New Fairy. First book. First Collection. 1844. ” Bregentved’s country estate and beautiful nature inspired Han to write the light hearted story of the “Ugly Duckling” in 1842. Han told the critics that the story reflected his own life and it was the reason why he wrote it, he described the story as his “autobiography”. He also explained that he considered titling the story “The Young Swans” but he didn’t want to spoil the element of surprise at the end of the story for the readers.

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Han didn’t intend the story to be a children’s book but like Jackie Wullschlager stated even though the story seem to be very mature for little kids it quickly became and remains children’s favorite book and began to sold out. “The Ugly Duckling” has all the characteristics of a fairytale. Some of the characteristics that make a story a fairytale could be good vs. bad, talking animals, focus plot on a problem, the protagonist leaves home, usually end with a happy ending and a moral. “The Ugly duckling happens to have all of these.

In the story all the animals could verbally communicate among each other, even chickens and ducks. The good ugly duckling had to face some mean and bad animals that picked on him for being so different from the rest. The problem throughout the whole story was for the ugly duckling to find where he truly belongs, with his real family. The ugly duckling (which is the protagonist) goes off on an adventure, leaving his home behind to find where he fits in. The story, of course, ends with a happy ending.

The ugly duckling grows to be a beautiful swan and finally finds a place he calls home, without any judgment by any animal. There are many morals to the story but the most obvious and important morals would be “to not be let down easily, be proud of yourself”, “Don’t judge a book by its cover, only because he ugly does not mean he is mean”, and “it is good to care about others, does not matter who it is. ” Another version of “The Ugly Duckling” that I came upon was “The Ugly Truckling”. It is written by David Gordon.

Instead of a duck, Gordon uses an adorable propeller plane in his adaption of “The Ugly Duckling. ” The ugly truckling doesn’t fit in with the little pick-up trucks that make up his large family of siblings. They tease him because he only has 3 wheels and because he cannot carry things around. As a result, he leaves his family to see if he belongs somewhere else. During his quest for self-discovery, he sees a group a planes flying overhead. He finally finds the place he belongs: in the sky with the other planes. A modern story of “The Ugly Duckling” would be one where people now in days can relate to.

An Example would be “The Ugly Duckling” by Iris Johansen, publish in New York in 1996… Nell Calder was a plain nobody wife and mother, who married a rich somebody. Her husband was a rich financier and they lived an elegant international lifestyle, along with their young daughter. Tragedy stuck as a hit man targets her husband the night of a lavish party. Nell also becomes a victim. She is stabbed and thrown from the balcony. Her face is so badly marred and her body so broken, she almost dies. After a long, arduous recovery, Nell learns that her attacker is still out there.

She wants him to pay for destroying her life and uses her hatred to help speed her recovery. Although determined, she knows this is not enough and finds she isn’t physically capable. A trainer helps her body become a killing machine and now she is a new woman. She is no longer an ugly duckling. With all this new information I understand the story a bit deeper than just the obvious meaning. This story is a lot more than “Don’t judge a book by a cover” the moral or the meaning to the story could be whatever the reader interprets. That’s why “The Ugly Duckling” has been and probably always will be my favorite fairytale.

Cited Sources

“Characteristics of a Fairytale. ” Characteristics of a Fairytale. Web “SurLaLune Fairy Tales: Modern Interpretations of Ugly Duckling. ” SurLaLune Fairy Tales: Annotated Fairy Tales, Fairy Tale Books and Illustrations. Web. 20 Apr. 2011. <http://www. surlalunefairytales. com/uglyduckling/themes. html>. “The Ugly Duckling by Iris Johansen Detailed Book Review. ” Detailed Book Reviews. Web. 20 Apr. 2011. <http://www. allreaders. com/topics/info_30108. sp>. The Ugly Duckling. Andersen, Hans Christian. 1909-14. Tales. The Harvard Classics. ” Bartleby. com: Great Books Online — Quotes, Poems, Novels, Classics and Hundreds More. Web. 20 Apr. 2011. <http://www. bartleby. com/17/3/1. html>. “The Ugly Duckling. ” Wikipedia, the Free Encyclopedia. Web. 20 Apr. 2011. <http://en. wikipedia. org/wiki/The_Ugly_Duckling>. “Three Little Rigs, Hansel & Diesel, and The Ugly Truckling by David Gordon. ” Books 4 Learning. Web. 20 Apr. 2011. <http://books4learning. blogspot. com/2010/10/in-progress. html>.

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