7. The Little Match Girl (1845)
Author: Hans Christian Andersen
If some ballsy filmmaker ever decides to make a modern-day feature film take on Hans Christian Andersen’s The Little Match Girl, the finished movie could rival Darren Aronofsky’s Requiem For A Dream in terms of its depressing nature.
Literary buffs will have you believe that The Little Match Girl is a story of hope, but fuck all that—it’s as hopeless as children’s fiction gets, and, for that, it’s the stuff of any young girl’s nightmares. The protagonist is a homeless female, an under-aged beggar freezing her ass off on the streets because she doesn’t want her father to hit her for not selling any matches. Desperate for some warmth, she curls up in a little nook and daydreams about her dead grandmother and a Christmas tree that she’ll never see in real life.
Feeling hopeful yet? You will now: The Little Match Girl ends with the poor kid freezing to death in the nook, her lifeless body left for streetwalkers to discover. What young lady wouldn’t want to seize the day after reading that?