"Brothers Lionheart" - a novel or a fairy tale?
"Brothers Lionheart" is a novel by the Swedish writer Astrid Lindgren. It was first published in 1973. The book did not gain the recognition of critics, but after many years it received due recognition. What is it about?
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1. "Brothers Lionheart" - summary
Astrid Lindgren set the action of her novel in two worlds: the real world and the fantastic land of Nangiyala. The protagonists of the piece are two brothers - the terminally ill 10-year-old Karol and the caring 13-year-old Jonathan Lew.
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The older brother comforts the younger one that when he dies, he will go to Nangiyala. In a house fire, Jonathan Lew dies, saving Karol. The boy blames himself for the family tragedy. He dreams of the moment when he dies and meets his brother in Nangiyala.
At night, Karol feels different than usual. He leaves a letter for his mother, in which he writes: "Don't cry mommy, we'll see you in Nangiyala!"
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Karol meets his brother. They are very happy together and have many adventures. The Wild Rose Valley is adjacent to the Cherry Valley. It is ruled by the cruel ruler of Tengil. His subordinates are slaves and very unhappy people. Jonathan Lew decides to help them. So he goes to the Cherry Valley, and then to Katla Grotto, where Orwar, the leader of the fight against the rule of Tengil, is imprisoned.
Charles follows his brother. She is afraid she might lose him again.
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2. Who are the main characters of the song "Brothers Lionheart"?
The novel is narrated by 10-year-old Karol Lew, called by his brother Sucharek. He is terminally ill, very weak. Needs care. In Nangiyala, however, he recovers fitness and strength. He is clever and cunning. Without thinking, he sacrifices himself for his brother. He jumps into the abyss to save him.
Jonathan Lew is 13 years old. He looks "like a prince from a fairy tale". He is empathetic, caring and very caring. He saves his brother from a fire, but the heroic deed costs him his life. In Nangiyali, he fights against Tengil.
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3. "Brothers Lionheart" - a novel or a fairy tale?
The book by Astrid Lindgren raised a lot of controversy at the beginning. Few publications mention the death of a child. It is a taboo subject that cannot be found in children's literature (the exception is Hans Christian Andersen's fairy tale "The Little Match Girl").
The Swedish writer also raised the issue of the fear of death and the loneliness of the child in her work. It is also a beautiful story about responsibility, courage and brotherly love. It is also about sacrificing for the good of others and overcoming your own weaknesses. It can be a contribution to discussions about important and final issues.
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It is difficult to unequivocally decide whether "Brothers Lionheart" should be considered a fairy tale or a novel. Certainly, the piece contains fairy-tale features, such as an episode of the fight between good and evil or the setting of the action in two worlds: real and fantastic. On the other hand, we are dealing with a story (the narrator is revealed).