Genre of the Week: Heart of Stone (das kalte Herz)


Imagine this scenario: You find a jewel in the middle of the forest, be it a gold pot, a silver rain drop, a magical carpet, a rabbit’s foot or what not, and it belongs to a Waldgeist ( a ghost of the forest). You touch it and it appears, granting you three wishes. What would your three wishes be?  What would be your reasons behind your wishes? What would it take for your wishes to come true and at what cost?

Sometimes people wish for things to come true because they want something better in life. Yet when these wishes come at a price- mainly sacrifices that are painful and regrettable. In this genre of the week, Heart of Stone (das Kalte Herz), written in 1827 by Wilhelm Hauff, the theme of the story is a person can make decisions and make wishes come true, but they have to live with the consequences, both positive but especially negatively.

The plot of the story is the protagonist, Peter Munk, who works at a coal-mining factory in the Black Forest that he inherited from his father, and is displeased with the working conditions. He then encounters a Waldgeist named Vers, a male glass figure, who grants him three wishes. His first two wishes are to have as much money as the richest man in town, Ezieckel, and to have a glass works. Yet his wishes come at a price, when he encounters an evil ghost of the forest after losing his money, and he does the unthinkable- pawning something very valuable and precious for money! :-O  Does he become happy with it? If not, does he get this precious item back and how?

There are many films that were produced based on this story. Two of which are presented here, but there is also a link to the latest that was produced a couple years ago. In either case, the story does bring some questions worth thinking about:

  • Is there something or someone you wanted very badly in life but you couldn’t get it? Imagine if there was a way, what would you do to get it and at what cost?
  • What are some things that you appreciate in life that you don’t want to let go, regardless of how?
  • What are somethings you would like to see better in your life and why?

Think about these questions and watch the film, let alone read the work and then decide what is important to you. Believe me, you will do yourself a big favor in the end. People can make choices, but in most cases, you cannot change what has been made. 🙂








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