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See also Funeral, Graveyard


Death, graveyard, cross

Description of this motif: Graves are a place for melancholy, sorrow and memories, and so it is in Andersen's tales, for example in the "The Old Tombstone". The emphasis is on memories of the dead, even when oblivion prevails, as in the mercyless story "The Wind Tells about Valdemar Daae and His Daughters":

The stork had given her shelter to the day of her death. I sang at her funeral," said the Wind, "as I had sung at her father's; I know where his grave is, and her grave, but no one else knows.

Now there are new times, changed times. The old highway is lost in the fields, old cemeteries have been made into new roads, and soon the steam engine, with its row of cars, will come to rush over the forgotten graves of unknown ancestors. Whew, whew, whew! On, on!

Example :

"The child is mine!" replied Felicita. "And I can murder him if I want to, and you too, Giannina!"

And she swung her fire pot again. The other woman raised hers to parry the blow, and the two pots clashed together, smashing to bits and scattering fire and ashes all over the room.

But the boy by that time was out of the door, across the courtyard, and out of the house. The poor child ran until he had no breath left. At last he stopped before the church of Santa Croce, whose great door had opened to him last night, and he went inside. Everything there was bright. He knelt by the first tomb, the sepulcher of Michelangelo, and began to cry loudly. People passed to and fro; Mass was celebrated; yet, nobody paid attention to the boy except one elderly citizen, who paused and looked at him for a moment, then passed on like the rest.