The Hans Christian Andersen Center

Religious motifs : Overview. Search. About religious motifs

Description of this motif: Sin is a violation of religious rules. Sin sticks to the sinner as impurity or guilt. Absolution or another kind of purification is necessary in order to become "clean" or not guilty again. In Andersen's universe sin isn't unforgivable. Sinners may be forgiven and achieve salvation. In some tales, e.g. Something and The Girl Who Trod on the Loaf, sinners are given a chance to regret and improve – sometimes in several attempts, which either lead to continued condemnation or to salvation, e.g. in The Garden of Paradise.


The tales are sorted by year. The leading numbers refer to the number of occurrences of the motif in the respective texts.

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