Naugatuck Valley Community College
The Little Mermaid
Feminism and Self Sacrifice
Keyshla M. Diaz 01339429
ENG 215: Studies in Children’s Literature
September 30th, 2010
The Little Mermaid
The Little Mermaid is a fairy tale by the Danish poet and author Hans Christian Andersen. The tale is about a young mermaid willing to give up her life in the sea and her identity as a merperson to gain a human soul and the love of a human prince. The tale was first published in 1837 and has been adapted to various media including musical theater and animated film.The standard of this classical story has been set to be the Disney Movie titled the same way as the classic version The Little Mermaid. It is set to be the standard because of the common knowledge everybody has with the main characters, some of these include Sebastian, the crab, Flounder, the fish and Ursula the sea witch. There are also two things that come up when people think of the little mermaid and that is the theme songs “Under the Sea” and “Part of your world”. Hans Christian Andersen’s, The Little Mermaid, portrays a more serious plot much different from Disney’s loveable adaptation. One may conclude that the most these two stories have in common is their titles, but a deeper theme runs throughout both of these fictional plots. Despite these two stories’ conflicting agendas and the fact that they were written for different time periods, Disney’s, The Little Mermaid and Hans Christian Andersen’s, The Little Mermaid, focus on a protagonist who yearns to attain her ambitions through self-sacrifice. The tale is considered to be feminist by containing a message about love and self-sacrifice, and the dangers of accepting abuse or inconsiderate treatment in the name of love. In the animated film version Ariel, rescues the handsome prince from drowning and falls in love with him, as teenage girls tend to do in the...
Cited: Andersen, Hans Christian. "The Little Mermaid." Tatar, Maria. The Classic Fairy Tales. New York: W.W. Norton & Company, 1999. 216-232.
The Little Mermaid. Dir. Walt Disney Feature Animation. November 15, 1989 .
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