ASTRID LINDGREN BROTHERS LIONHEART PDF

Shelves: children There are times when reality is hard to bear! There are times when you wish you would not have to face what is actually happening. I must have read it about ten times by now, several times as a child, and several times with my own children, and students. What remains with me are two things: the power of storytelling to make life bearable, and the recurring pattern of human society, regardless of plot, setting, characters and purpose of the story.

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Shelves: children There are times when reality is hard to bear! There are times when you wish you would not have to face what is actually happening. I must have read it about ten times by now, several times as a child, and several times with my own children, and students. What remains with me are two things: the power of storytelling to make life bearable, and the recurring pattern of human society, regardless of plot, setting, characters and purpose of the story.

The first chapter is of the kind that makes you cry helplessly: a poor boy with a deadly illness, probably tuberculosis, overhears his mother talking about his expected death.

Devastated, he confides in his older brother Jonathan, who reassures him that there is a wonderful adventurous life after death, in Nangijala, and that he will just be waiting there until Jonathan joins him.

Things develop differently, however, and Jonathan dies himself, trying to save his brother from a fire. And shortly afterwards, the boys reunite in the wonderful fairytale world of Nangijala.

So far, so kitsch. But of course Nangijala is a dark place as well, with a village behind a wall, reigned by the evil Tengil and his soldiers, supported by a superpower weapon, a dragon called Katla. Nobody will be surprised to hear that the novel was published at the height of the Cold War. From what, I would like to ask: from freedom of movement?

Freedom of choice? And this is where the story loses its magical power and credibility for me, and where I feel Astrid Lindgren does not face up to reality, even if it is just the reality you find in a story universe.

The boys decide to commit suicide to move on to the next world, Nangilima, where the stories are better and life is easier. In a chain of eternal worlds, there can be multiple happy or sad endings. If we just move on whenever life does not turn out the way we expect it, and move from adventure to adventure, ignoring the fallout of the reality we dodge by seeking an easy way out, there is no real incentive to change the premises of the world we live in for the better, or to try to figure out the reasons for the problems we have, in order to prevent them from getting worse.

Close your eyes and jump! I always thought that was contradictory to the message that you are a piece of dirt if you do not do what you think is right. But then again, Astrid Lindgren might have seen clearly what humanity does all the time: building walls, fighting over ideology, ignoring bad signs, denying reality and jumping blindly into the future, hoping for the best without ever turning around to learn from history, believing in an afterlife that will be different and better, despite being populated by the same set of characters that populate earth.

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The Brothers Lionheart

Plot[ edit ] In an unnamed Swedish city, ten year-old Karl Lejon has found out that he is going to die from an unspecified pulmonary disease most likely tuberculosis. His adored big brother, year-old Jonatan, calms him down and tells him that in the afterlife, all men will go to a land known as Nangijala. One day, a fire breaks out in the Lejon home. Karl is introduced to the denizens of the valley, particularly Sofia the dove-keeper, Hubert the hunter, and Jossi, a landlord, and assumes the surname Lionheart along with his brother. However, despite first appearances, not all is truly at peace in Nangijala. The adjacent valley, the Thorn Rose Valley, is suppressed by a tyrant named Tengil, his army and a female dragon named Katla, who is controlled by Tengil through a trumpet. Soon after Jossi leaves, Karl is discovered by the soldiers and taken to the Thorn Rose Valley after claiming that he lives there with his grandfather.

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