The Red Shoes in Fairy Tales

The Red Shoes in Fairy Tales

Amongst the fairy tales relating to shoes, the most prominent colour is the red one! This leads us to talk about Hans Christian Andersen’s 1845 classic tale - “The Red Shoes” - today.

In the story, Karen’s adoptive mother buys her a pair of beautiful red shoes fit for a princess. But after she repeatedly wears them, they begin to move and dance by themselves, and Karen can’t take them off. The shoes eventually dance and dance so much that Karen chops off her feet, with the assistance of an executioner, to make them stop. But the shoes keep on dancing even with Karen’s amputated feet inside them! Whenever Karen wants to go church, the red shoes will appear and stops her from moving on. That disturbs and terrifies her deeply! At the end, Karen repents her sins and the red shoes no long return to haunt her. Sounds a little creepy, huh? Well, there are quite a few things we can learn from the story, though.

First of all, red is a very emotionally intense colour. I believe the author chose the shoes to be in red colour to represent the inner self of Karen, who is passionately and desirous for love and acceptance. When Karen is overwhelmed by her own desire, things are getting out of hand and therefore the red shoes keep on dancing without stopping. However, Karen repented and she enjoys a good ending. So red shoes can be served as a good reminder for us having the right values and attitude towards life!

Also, I believe the author chose to use shoes instead of other apparels because shoes is a direct way expressing one’s character, belief and desire! It does not mean others cannot do so, but as the saying goes, “it’s always good to walk a mile in someone else’ shoes”, so other stuff is unable to be as expressive and explicit as shoes, yes?

Lastly, Karen’s red shoes were custom-made by rich shoemaker in town. Well, in the past, it was a fact that custom-made shoes are always expensive and only the rich people can afford them. Shoe customization service was directly related to social status and wealth showing off during then. However, this myth is no longer valid now, especially with us in Le Cuore, as we strive to provide quality shoes with elegance, personality and comfort at incredibly affordable prices!

So when buying your next pair of shoes, it will be nice to consider the red shoes and perhaps give us a thinker for a sharing session on shoe selection, alright?


Have a nice weekend!



Le Cuore - ST

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