Audiobook The Snow Queen Beginner. Аудиокнига Снежная королева на английском языке (адаптированная) для уровня Beginner Level 1 Hans Christian Andersen (около 800 уникальных слов)..
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Two small children – a boy, named Kay, and a girl, named Gerda – live as neighbours and love each other as if they were brother and sister. But one day, the Snow Queen appears outside Kay’s house and shortly after that, a piece of the hobgoblin’s magic mirror gets caught in his eye and reaches his heart, turning it to ice. Thereafter, he starts to behave badly towards Gerda and can only see the ugliness in things.
Kay takes his sledge into town, where the Snow Queen appears to him again and takes him under her wing, and they ride off on her sledge together. Gerda wonders what happened to Kay, fearing him dead. She throws her prized red shoes into the river as an offering, in the hope that Kay will come back in return. But it doesn’t work, so Gerda gets in a boat and soon drifts out into the world beyond her home, where she meets an old lady who befriends her. Gerda talks to the flowers in the woman’s garden, in the hope that they will tell her where Kay is, but they speak to her in riddles.
Autumn comes, and Gerda continues on her way in the world. She meets a crow, who tells her that Kay is in the palace of a princess. But when Gerda travels to the palace, the prince is not Kay, although his appearance is similar. The prince and princess give Gerda a coach and warm coat, so she can continue her journey.
However, Gerda is captured by robbers, and taken to their castle. There she meets a little robber girl, whose doves tell Gerda that Kay was taken by the Snow Queen to her palace further north. The robber girl helps to free Gerda from the castle. With the help of a reindeer, a Lapp woman (from Lapland) and a Finn woman (from Finland), Gerda travels north to the colder parts of Scandinavia, until she reaches the palace of the Snow Queen, where the Snow Queen has Kay under her spell. The only way to free him from it is to remove the shard of the magic mirror that has turned his heart to ice. Kay is nearly blue with cold, and it’s only the Snow Queen’s attention to him that keeps him from freezing.
The Snow Queen flies away to warmer countries, deserting Kay. Gerda turns up and recognises Kay instantly despite his changed appearance, but he sits still and cold and unresponsive. Upset, Gerda cries warm tears that drop onto the frozen Kay, and seep through to his heart, thawing it. When Gerda sings a song they both know, he recognises her, and bursts into tears. His tears wash out the grain of glass from the magic mirror that was lodged in his eye, and he returns to his old self. Reunited, Gerda and Kay return home, growing up together and yet retaining their childlike innocence, as spring turns into summer.
‘The Snow Queen’: analysis
‘The Snow Queen’ is, fundamentally, a story about good and evil. But what is most noteworthy about this fairy tale – perhaps even more so than in Andersen’s other major fairy tales – is that the evil character at the centre of the story, namely the Snow Queen herself, doesn’t get her comeuppance at the end of the tale. Nor does the hobgoblin who created the mirror which allows Kay to be transformed in the first place. One of the reasons why Andersen’s fairy stories have endured, perhaps, is that they have decidedly bittersweet ‘fairy-tale endings’: the good may end happily, but the bad don’t necessarily end unhappily. The Snow Queen isn’t heard of again after she flies off to warmer climes, abandoning poor Kay.
Of course, the mirror and the ice are loaded with symbolism and significance in the story. The mirror represents unhealthy cynicism which destroys youthful innocence: it’s significant that, when Kay becomes ‘infected’ with the grain of glass from the magic mirror, he wants to go off and play with the older boys, suggesting that wide-eyed wonder and childhood innocence are being replaced by surly adolescence, which involves disrespecting the kindly grandmother who reads stories to him and Gerda, and neglecting Gerda herself. But the glass doesn’t infect everyone: Gerda is able to retain her innocence even as she grows up, as is Kay once he is saved by Gerda. By the same token, Kay’s cynicism isn’t his own fault: it’s just his rotten luck that the grain of the mirror gets caught in his eye. This suggests that a person’s individual circumstances shape their views and their personalities, and that they aren’t necessarily to ‘blame’ for how they behave. But they can be cured of it, if they are shown love by their friends and those close to them.