The Little Match Girl


Hans Christian Andersen

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Father Character Analysis

The Little Match Girl’s father appears in the story in passing, when she mentions that she doesn’t dare escape the cold by going home on New Year’s Eve. She hasn’t earned even a cent, and returning home without money would lead her father to beat her. The threat of her father’s abuse makes her choose to remain on the cold streets, which leads her to freeze to death.

Father Quotes in The Little Match Girl

The The Little Match Girl quotes below are all either spoken by Father or refer to Father. For each quote, you can also see the other characters and themes related to it (each theme is indicated by its own dot and icon, like this one:
The Cruelty of Poverty Theme Icon
). Note: all page numbers and citation info for the quotes below refer to the Anchor Books edition of The Little Match Girl published in 1983.
The Little Match Girl Quotes

She didn’t dare go home because she had sold no matches and was frightened that her father might beat her. Besides, her home was almost as cold as the street. She lived in an attic, right under a tile roof. The wind whistled through it, even though they had tried to close the worst of the holes and cracks with straw and old rags.

Related Characters: The Little Match Girl, Father
Page Number: 306-307
Explanation and Analysis:
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Father Character Timeline in The Little Match Girl

The timeline below shows where the character Father appears in The Little Match Girl. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
The Little Match Girl
The Cruelty of Poverty Theme Icon
Christianity and the Afterlife Theme Icon
Fairy Tales vs. Reality Theme Icon
...“dare to go home” because she hasn’t yet sold any matches, an offense for which her father would beat her. Besides, their house isn’t much warmer than the streets—the roof leaks, letting... (full context)