Analysis of the Little Mermaid

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Analysis of the Little Mermaid

By | March 2011
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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...