The Traveling Companion by Hans Christen Andersen is another of those stories that really subscribes to the whole women need male saviors and men and women will fall in love with each other despite barely knowing one another theme. And while ultimately it follows a pretty typical format for fairytales, as the years have gone on and I’ve grown older, the things that were once accepted as the norm are no longer things I’m willing to promote. For example, the girl–often a princess–as a prize for living a good, kind life, is something that I cannot stand.
And while the central message that kindness will result in others helping you back (I’m not sure how true that is, but it’s still nice) is a good one, the entire manner through which the main character, John, managed to win the princess was ridiculous and frustrating. You see, she was under a spell and after John had significantly helped this guy who would later travel with him, the traveling companion decided to do what he could to ensure that his friend would be able to win the hand of the princess.
And I do mean the hand, not the heart. After all, it comes down to him winning the right to marry her. Nothing that he does nor anything that his companion helps him accomplish has anything to do with actually building a connection with this girl. And yet, somehow, after he breaks the spell on her, she magically falls in love with him. It’s all just quite a lot of ridiculousness. And while a part of me does love fairy tales, I just don’t think this is one I could bring myself to care for. Add in the religious aspect of it all and I’m kind of just checked out.