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the Emperor's new clothes

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by

Yijia (Kevin) Zhou

on 4 January 2013

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Transcript of the Emperor's new clothes

By Yijia Kevin Zhou
David Sussman
Thomas Bong The Emperor's New Clothes CHARACTER Symbols Introductory Paragraph The End what? Happiness and peace are common principles in the fairy tales, but under these familiar surfaces, there are many careful thoughts from the authors. "The Emperor's New Clothes", written by Hans Christian Andersen in 1837, is one of the most famous folk tales (fairy tales) in the modern literature world. The emperor in this story had a great affection for dressing in fancy clothes. He had an insatiable desire to own clothing made from an amazing cloth some weavers claimed was woven to appear invisible to any who were stupid or incompetent. He hired the swindlers and paid them in gold. The Emperor didn't discover he'd been tricked until he was parading before his people, so he finished his ceremony with no clothes on his body. In the late 1800's, Napoleon's Empire was defeated by the British. Denmark, as an ally of Napoleon's Empire, became a vassal state of the British. The Danish suffered deeply under British rule. Andersen wrote this story based on a Spanish fairytale from the "51 Cautionary Tales" which reflected the evil features of the ruling class of that time period. This fairy tale is much more peaceful than the real world, but it contains several themes, one outstanding character, and symbols which represent the thoughts of Andersen and others of the time. BODY PARAGRAPHS THEME The Emperor's New Clothes was written to satirize the corrupt ruling class. It shows what the ruling class is doing when the people are suffering. "...emperor, who thought so much of new clothes that he spent all his money in order to obtain them...he did not care about his soldiers..."(1) The Emperor, as the head of a kingdom, should be a model for all the others, and rules the whole country. However, this emperor doesn't seem like a ruler, instead, he's more like a fashion clothes collector. Also, an emperor's money should be used to build up the kingdom, not buy clothes. He also doesn't care about his soldiers, or the safety of the kingdom. If he's in the modern world, rebellions would be everywhere. Similarly, the old, "good" minister is also a corrupt politician. " 'can I be stupid?...No, no, I cannot say that I was unable to see the clothes.'" He couldn't see the clothes so he lies to the Emperor in order to keep his political position. Although each courtier who is sent is unable to see the cloth, they all report back about how wonderful the clothes are for fear of losing their position. The whole ruling class is tricked by the "weavers" who further their plan by refuse to admit their own inability. The swindlers see the Emperor and his court as fools and take advantage of them. ? ? ? ? ? ? ! Andersen perfectly uses this evidence as a mirror and reflects the evil features of the government officers of that time period. The tale's main character is the Emperor and his lack of character shows how unfit he is to be an emperor. His actions and attitude demonstrate his incapability to rule over his kingdom. The first instance showing us his vanity is “he had a coat for every hour of the day: and as one would say of a king “he is in his cabinet,” so one could say to him, “the emperor is in his dressing room.” He complete obsession with clothes leads him to be lazy about doing regular errands a fit emperor would do. Also, the story, shows us the emperor has been like this all throughout his life. “Many years ago there was an emperor so exceedingly fond of new clothes that he spent all his money on being well dressed.” Due to his focus on appearances over the needs of his people, the Emperor spends vast sums of money on clothing. Lastly, he always thinks of himself saying, “those would be just the clothes for me…” The Emperor thinks first of himself and his own pleasure. Putting all of this together, we now understand that the Emperor is truly unfit for his position. censored censored The symbols in this story clearly represent wealth, power, and innocence. Wealth and power is very important to this emperor and that is represented with the cloth. “…this material had the amazing property that it was to be invisible to anyone who was incompetent or stupid.” The cloth can separate the smart from the stupid, talented from the incapable. This quote reveals the appeal of special qualities like the one the cloth possesses, which is the symbol of wealth and power. This fairy tale shows many themes, characters, and symbols. Corruption of the upper class clearly shows as the theme. This relates to the emperor and the courtiers worrying about themselves and their political positions. The emperor in this story was the main character, showing again his self - importance. The symbols are the cloth, representing wealth and power, and the child representing innocence. Overall, "The Emperor's New Clothes" perfectly reflects the thoughts of the author and the real world of that time period, just like all classic fairy tales. Conclusion The child in the story represents innocence. “Good Lord, let us hear the voice of an innocent child!” In this quote the belief of the innocence of children shows. The child is shown to be innocent because he says only what he sees. This relates to the people in our world. Almost everyone can see the truth, but only those who are innocent or brave are likely to point it out. The symbols of cloth for wealth & power and childhood innocence used in this fairy tale helped Andersen to explain the situations in the real world in a non-threatening manner. UH-OH
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