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.

Example :

"God's will is best," he would then say. "It was good that our Lord did not let the heart of Molly cling to me, for how would it have ended, now that fortune has turned against me? She gave me up before she knew of this misfortune. Our Lord has been merciful toward me; all has been for the best, all things are ordered wisely. And she could not help herself; it was wrong of me to feel so bitter and angry!"

And years passed: Anton's father was dead, and now strangers lived in the old house. Yet Anton was to see his old home once more, for his wealthy master sent him on a journey that took him through his native town, Eisenach. Old Wartburg stood unchanged on the mountain, with its "Monk and Nun" carved in stone; the mighty oak trees lent the same majestic splendor to it all as they had in the time of his childhood; the Mountain of Venus still gleamed gray in its barrenness. He would gladly have said, "Lady Venus, Lady Venus! Open your mountain and take me in! Then, at least, I shall remain in my own country!" But that was a sinful thought, and so he crossed himself.

Comment on this quote: The "Monk and Nun" is a massif north of the castle of Wartburg, "Mnch und Nonne".