The Little Mermaid

Topics: Dysfunctional family, Ariel, Bullying Pages: 11 (3965 words) Published: August 4, 2013
Marissa Edwards
Professor Burman
English 103
29 May 2013
The Little Mermaid: Part of the “Real” World
“Wish I could be part of that world” is famous phrase from a Disney princess many little girls inspire to be like. These fairy tale films, for example, The Little Mermaid, portray a contracting sense of what unrealistic morals are for young girls. These impractical principles set those girls up for disappointment when reality hits in the future. “According to the fairy tales; every handsome prince wants a princess” (Miller 39). Disney’s The Little Mermaid is the worse example for young girls to be influenced by.

The movie consists lots of lies and manipulation throughout the story by multiple Disney characters. Princess Ariel, the main character of The Little Mermaid, also has a lack of respect for not only herself, but authority too. She feels the need to change and alter herself to get what she wants, just for a man. Young Ariel is very co-dependent and can never make decisions on her own. She has an abnormal social life by surrounding herself with animals and artificial objects. In addition to manipulation, Disney depicts dysfunctional families as a benefit and socially acceptable. They also provide the unrealistic characteristics to identify bad people. Disney illustrates the wrong behavior that is acceptable for children and exemplifies that being dysfunctional is okay in today’s society.

Lying and manipulation come about during the whole movie of The Little Mermaid from multiple characters. The reason why Ariel lies has to do with her behavior. She acts rebellious and she has a curious side. According to Effective Parenting, “Talking about reality and truth and how they are different from fantasy, wishes, possibility, pretend, and make believe. Require that children use cues to identify anything other than reality.” Ariel’s age is a young teenager during the period of the movie. Parents can help their young girls understand the consequences that come with lies when they have their children ask themselves “what if” questions and know what is right and what is wrong. Ariel doesn’t tell her dad, King Trition the ruler of the sea, what she is doing or where she is going. She knew she was doing something she was not supposed to but she continued anyways and ended up in trouble.

Ariel also doesn’t tell Prince Eric, the man she rescued in the beginning of the movie, that she is a mermaid for the whole time of the movie. Ariel’s whole relationship is based around a lie, because she is not being honest with Eric from the start. “Teach honesty by encouraging your kids to tell the truth and to let you know what's on their minds.” (Dummies) Learning from examples or maybe from past experiences that a lie never brings good things, but only trouble. An instance from the beginning of the movie where Ariel lies about her whereabouts and a shark came to attack. She is lucky nothing more serious occurred. Parents can advise their children on this difficult behavior, but knowing the consequences, they can make their own decisions. Lying should be considered a dysfunction because it can cause harm for oneself or even others.

Manipulation is “an exerting shrewd or devious influence especially for one's own advantage,” according to Ursula does most of the manipulation during the movie. She takes Ariel voice and turns it around on her to use against her. Ursula shows Ariel that she can give her what she wants but for a cost. “Keep your mind on that larger goal rather than on short-term relief” (Empowering).

In The Little Mermaid, Ariel gave up her voice for a pair of human legs. Her legs got her to where she wanted to be, but without a voice Ariel wasn’t able to communicate putting her in a worse situation. Ursula uses Ariel’s voice to try to steal Prince Eric from her because she has a voice and can talk, while Ariel cannot. Ursula’s alternate identity almost got Prince Eric to marry her, so that she...

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