The Sailor-Boy's Tale Essay

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Riser has a master's degree in English literature and teaches high school English. In the following essay, she explores the fairy tale form and the initiation theme of Dinesen's story.

The word "tale" in the title of Isak Dinesen's short story "The Sailor-Boy's Tale" lends insight into the nature of the story. This is not to be a realistic true-life account; rather, it is to be a story in the sense of a fairy tale or a parable. In the tradition of her countryman Hans Christian Andersen, the writer of well-known children's tales, Dinesen uses the form of the fairy tale for the stories in her collection Winter's Tales, of which "The Sailor-Boy's Tale" is one. However, Dinesen subverts the traditional form to make this a story most children, as well as adults, might find disconcerting. Moreover, the word "boy" in the title of the story indicates that...

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This section contains 1,910 words
(approx. 5 pages at 400 words per page)
Buy The Sailor-Boy's Tale Study Guide
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Short Stories for Students
The Sailor-Boy's Tale from Short Stories for Students. ©2005-2006 Thomson Gale, a part of the Thomson Corporation. All rights reserved.
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