Description of this motif: Immortality is a frequent motif in Hans Christian Andersen's tales, but only in the form of the soul's life after death. Eternal life is a different motif, as it is refers to a life, in which death shall never come.
Christianity gave him words of promise of an eternal life in the Bible, but he wanted to read it in his book; and there he could see nothing about it.
Comment on this quote: The wise man cannot get true knowledge about the Christian belief in immortality in his book. This is similar to the bewitched Kay in "The Snow Queen"; The splinter in his eye made him a very penetrating (!) observer, but this cold rationality turned out useless, when it came to the matters of belief – he was unable to make the word Eternity.