Download PDF Hans My Hedgehog: A Tale from the Brothers Grimm (with audio recording)

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Hans then makes her take off her clothes, pierces her all over with his prickles, and sends her back to the kingdom in disgrace. The second king agrees to the marriage; the princess holds herself bound by her promise and Hans My Hedgehog marries her. On their wedding night, he tells the king to build a fire and to post guards at his door. Hans takes off his hedgehog skin and quickly has the guards throw it in the fire. Hans appears black, as if he has been burned. After physicians clean him he is shown to be a handsome young gentleman.

After several years Hans returns home to collect his father and they live together in the kingdom. This leitmotif is found in other Grimm's fairy tales and myths as a symbol of psychological metamorphosis. Hans was born half-hedgehog and he cannot break the spell until he is able to burn his prickly hedgehog skin. Hans uses his deformity to discover his "true" identity.

Hiding his handsome appearance allows him to discover and judge the moral character of the people he meets throughout the story. By disguising himself within the hedgehog skin, Hans is identifying himself as deformed, "Dress enables people to identify themselves—socially, sexually, morally, aesthetically—to be recognized or to be misrecognized.

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To create a whole being with a single identity, Hans had to shed his skin and have the husk burned into ash, "Now when the clock struck eleven he went into the room, stripped off his hedgehog skin, and left it lying in front of the bed and the men quickly came and fetched it and threw it into the fire, and when the fire had consumed it the curse was broken".

The formation of a single identity is completed once Han's physical appearance matched that of his Jacques Lacan mirror stage Ideal I. Before his metamorphosis, it is obvious his ideal-I is not achievable because of his hedgehog body. Essentially, Hans' life is out of balance. It is not until after he sheds his hedgehog skin that redemption is welcomed. Once Hans' metamorphosis from hedgehog to young man takes place, his life, rather seamlessly, falls into order. The function of gender within the play is suggestive of the role of both the men and women during the time period of the story.

The males provide while the females nurture, as seen with Hans's father and mother. The "gender" of the story can be discovered by examining the use of descriptive language and what is important to the themes presented. The description of "masculinity and femininity are written on bodies in different ways, [within the context of the Grimm fairy tale collection] prioritizing beauty, blood, hair, and skin descriptions for women and size, age, violence, and transformations for men.

Hans is young, large, and violent toward the first princess. His abusiveness highlights the hegemonic masculinity made popular during that time.

Essentially, Hans chooses which princess he truly desires, completely overlooking their own interests. Furthermore, he metamorphoses himself from a deformed monster into a handsome man for a female when he needs to enter the marriage bed. The moral lessons taught through folktales exist to convey values that, at the time, would have held a family unit, and by extension the entirety of society, together. These values are found throughout the Grimm's tales and include but are not limited to "diligence, honesty, generosity, dependability, perseverance, courage, and a unique balance of self-reliance and selflessness.

These values can be seen within the king when he decides to honor his promise to Hans, within Hans when he leaves his father to live on his own, and when he returns and gives up his animals for the welfare of others.


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The connotation of the words describing a situation or person can inform a reader of the quality of the object, and thus creates a situation in which values are presented as desirable. Overall, Grimms' Fairy Tales convey conservative social harmony, as they convey morals as being the "most important social driving force over economic or political interests. It is seen that Hans is able to shed his skin at will and it is assumed that he had the ability to metamorphose into a human being throughout the entirety of the story.

To break the curse, the remaining hedgehog husk must be burnt to ash. It is only after his deformity is burnt away that Hans was able to metamorphose into a whole human, the former animal self being destroyed and washed away in the flames. When Hans sheds his skin, he appears to be burnt black. After being washed by physicians, he is presented as a handsome young man.

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After his metamorphosis, he is able to enjoy life, and no longer suffers as a half-hedgehog, half-man hybrid. The strong presence of abstraction is a typical component in German tales, albeit this is not similar to other cultures around Europe. As stated by Ralph S. Boggs, "The Germans tend towards abstraction, the Russians and Spaniards towards richness of detail".

Often in Grimms' tales, characters are seen as a "cripple" or "super cripple".

In addition, the protagonist is often viewed as a freak cripple or super freak supercripple. Because of this, the character is often outcast or disliked by the rest of society. Such is the case of the protagonist Hans, in Hans My Hedgehog.

ASMRFantasyWhispers Reads: "Hans the Hedgehog"

Hans would be labeled as a supercripple, mainly because his disability essentially thwarts pity, as his deformity is overly grotesque or callous. As Hans tries to survive in society as a half-hedgehog young man, his overt "enfreakment" is repaid by the sudden absence of his deformity, to reveal a more whole and perfect self. Rather than other Grimms' tale characters who are portrayed as a fully animal form, Hans is the only half-animal half-human hybrid, thus increasing his overall outlandishness.

His deformed birth is likely due to Hans' father's brash desire to have a child. Because of this, they have received a divine punishment, thus resulting in the abnormal and deformed birth of their son.

Guide Hans My Hedgehog: A Tale from the Brothers Grimm (with audio recording)

Hans is an unusual boy. So Hans flees to the forest with his herd of loyal pigs and only his music to keep him company. But then a most unusual thing happens: When Hans crosses paths with two kings with two lovely daughters, his luck starts to change. Will this lonely soul find true love after all? In a feat that may astound fairy tale cognoscenti, Coombs The Runaway Dragon and Nickle Never Take a Shark to the Dentist transform a once-prickly story into something witty and warm.

This version s likable Hans is an accomplished fiddler with loving parents, who retreats alone into the woods riding his rooster and accompanied by attentive hogs. On two occasions, Hans s music helps rescue kings who have become lost in the forest.

Assisted by his loyal rooster and pigs, Hans visits each ruler s castle and, on his second try, meets a princess who is willing to marry him and, perchance, lift his curse, Beauty and the Beast style. Nickle s jewel-tone acrylics, painted on parchment-colored backdrops and interspersed with spiky ink-black silhouettes, conjure an Elizabethan ambience.