The Little Match Girl


Hans Christian Andersen

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Grandmother Character Analysis

The Little Match Girl’s deceased grandmother. She is described as “the only person who had ever loved or been kind to the child.” In the Little Match Girl’s vision of her kind grandmother, the grandmother carries the girl to heaven—the girl has in fact died, but the vision of her grandmother has comforted her and brought her to a better life in heaven.

Grandmother Quotes in The Little Match Girl

The The Little Match Girl quotes below are all either spoken by Grandmother or refer to Grandmother. 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

“Someone is dying,” whispered the little girl. Her grandmother, who was dead, was the only person who had ever loved or been kind to the child; and she had told her that a shooting star was the soul of a human being traveling to God.

She struck yet another match against the wall and in its blaze she saw her grandmother, so sweet, so blessedly kind.

“Grandmother!” shouted the little one. “Take me with you! I know you will disappear when the match goes out, just like the warm stove, the goose, and the beautiful Christmas tree.” Quickly, she lighted all the matches she had left in her hand, so that her grandmother could not leave. And the matches burned with such a clear, strong flame that the night became as light as day. Never had her grandmother looked so beautiful. She lifted the little girl in her arms and flew with her to where there is neither cold nor hunger nor fear: up to God.

Related Characters: The Little Match Girl, Grandmother
Related Symbols: The Matches’ Flames
Page Number: 307-308
Explanation and Analysis:
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The Little Match Girl PDF

Grandmother Character Timeline in The Little Match Girl

The timeline below shows where the character Grandmother appears in The Little Match Girl. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
The Little Match Girl
Christianity and the Afterlife Theme Icon
Fairy Tales vs. Reality Theme Icon create “a line of fire across the sky” and notes that her recently deceased grandmother (the only person to ever show her love or kindness) once told her that shooting... (full context)
The Cruelty of Poverty Theme Icon
Christianity and the Afterlife Theme Icon
Fairy Tales vs. Reality Theme Icon
The girl burns another match, this time viewing the face of her “blessedly kind” grandmother. She implores her to take her with her and, knowing that she will disappear “just... (full context)