Analysis of the Little Mermaid

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The Little Mermaid Analysis

The Little Mermaid is an example of how woman were seen in society. In the fairy tale, women are characterized by appearance rather than personality by both men and women. The little mermaid mentions “But if you take my voice, what shall I have left?” (Anderson 226). In this quote, the little mermaid believes that she cannot just be herself to win the prince’s heart. The prince also looks at women the same way because of how he talks to the little mermaid. He asks her, “You’ve no fear of the sea, have you, my dumb child?” (Anderson 229). He treats her as if she is still a small child just because she cannot speak. The tone helps shape the whole story into a feminist piece. Anderson relays the moral of the story for women in a cautionary tone to make them realize the message that is being said. The little mermaid gave up everything for the prince, and in the end, she paid a terrible price for it. Hans Christian Anderson’s writes her story The Little Mermaid in a cautionary tone with the usage of imagery and characterization to symbolize a feminist work of literature. The little mermaid’s grandmother demonstrates how appearance rules over personality. In the story, they characterized women in such a way that good looks are everything. When the little mermaid asked if the humans liked mermaids, the grandmother said, “They very thing that’s so beautiful here in the sea, your fish’s tail, seems ugly to people on the earth; they know so little about it that they have to have two clumsy supports called legs, in order to look nice” (Anderson 224). In this quote, the grandmother negatively characterizes mermaids as ugly. She, being old and wise, still believes that personality will not change the way humans think of mermaids. It is not only the men who think this way; it is also the women and girls whose viewpoints revolve around this fact too. Women are characterized by their beauty in The Little Mermaid which leads to how the story gives a cautionary tone towards the reader. The tone of the story is cautious to make women understand the meaning behind the text. When the little mermaid went to the sea witch to be changed into a human, she told her, “How stupid of you! Still, you shall have your way, and it’ll bring you into misfortune, my lovely Princess” (Anderson 226). The sea witch had already warned the little mermaid even before she made the potion that it would not go as she planned. The little mermaid, being young and foolish about love, did what she believed was right. The tone here spoken by the sea witch gives caution towards the mermaid. Anderson uses the witch as a way to portray to the reader how it is easy to make mistakes in the matter of love. This example is given when the witch informs her that, “… and if you don’t win the Prince’s love, so that he forgets father and mother for you and always has you in his thoughts and lets the priest join your hands together to be man and wife, they you won’t get an immortal soul” (Anderson 226). The author uses a reproving tone to demonstrate to the reader how the little mermaid is foolish, carried away in her childish dreams. Anderson characterizes the sea witch in such a way that her dialogues warn women to be careful when it comes to sacrificing themselves for anyone. The imagery used to describe how lovely the mermaid is portrays what the prince wanted as a wife. When the prince found her on the shore and took her in as one of his own people, he took care of and adored her, but he would not marry her because she could not speak. She did not have the lovely voice that she had when she rescued the prince. He states, “She was the only one I could ever love in this world, but you are so like her that you almost take the place of her image in my heart” (Anderson 229). Hearing and seeing are two of the senses that is imagery which is used to illustrate a woman's beauty. The prince was against the thought of marrying someone...
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