Love, immortality, heart, soul
Love can release, save, redeem and free the soul – give it eternal life, immortality – e.g. the little mermaid or "Alferne paa Heden" ('the faries on the moor'), who may be given eternal life from the love of a human, or, in the case of the fairies, by "a tear of remorse or empathy from the human heart", the angel's love for Inger in "The Girl, Who Trod on the Loaf", Gerda's tears, which thaw Kay's frozen heart in "The Snow Queen" or Sorrow's tear in "The Last Pearl", the pearl that lifts the soul towards the eternal.
According to Flemming Hovmann's commentary p. 95 in vol. 7 of H.C. Andersens eventyr, Dansk Sprog- og Litteraturselskab / Borgen 1990, it is a wellknown motif in popular belief, that tears have such power.
The tales are sorted by year. The leading numbers refer to the number of occurrences of the motif in the respective texts.
- 1 Alferne paa Heden (Danish title) (1831)
- 1 The Little Mermaid (1837)
- 1 The Wild Swans (1838)
- 2 The Snow Queen (1844)
- 1 Grandmother (1845)
- 1 The Story of a Mother (1847)
- 1 A Story (1851)
- 1 Under The Willow Tree (1852)
- 1 The Last Pearl (1853)
- 1 The Marsh King's Daughter (1858)
- 1 The Stone of the Wise Man (1858)
- 1 The Girl Who Trod on the Loaf (1859)
- 1 The Child in the Grave (1859)