The Little Mermaid

Topics: The Little Mermaid, Soul, Mermaid Pages: 5 (1971 words) Published: January 2, 2014

Folk Tale/Fairy Tale Rewrite

In “The Little Mermaid,” Hans Christian Andersen depicts the life of a mermaid, and her aspirations to live life on land as a human. The little mermaid lives deep in the dark depths of the sea with the sea king (her father), her father’s subjects, her five sisters, and her grandmother. The little mermaid longed for nothing more than to see the world above the surface of the water, but a mermaid is not allowed to go up to the surface until the age of 15. The little mermaid waited patiently, and listened to the experiences of her sisters who had gone up before her until her day finally came. Once the little mermaid surfaced, she spotted a large ship, and on that ship a young prince. A storm hit, and the prince was thrown into the sea. The little mermaid was able to rescue the prince from the jaws of death, and she brought him to shore. She soon heard voices, and she saw a young maiden exit a temple far in the distance. The little mermaid acted quickly and swam away from the shore, sheltering herself behind large rocks. The young maiden saw the prince and quickly went to his side, and he suddenly came to. The little mermaid solemnly dove back down to her father's Palace. The story of the little mermaid's encounter with the prince circulated throughout the kingdom, and she soon learned where the prince lived. As the little mermaid observed the prince and his people, she became more fond of humans. Back down in the sea, the little mermaid asked her grandmother if humans continued to live on forever. Her grandmother told her that just like mermaids, humans die too. Except, unlike mermaids, humans do not just turn into sea foam after death, humans still had souls that lingered on. The news of an eternal soul intensified the little mermaids thirst to become human. The little mermaid's longing to become human drove her to seek the help of a sea witch. The sea witch gave the little mermaid an elixir that would give her legs in exchange for her tongue. The witch also added that the little mermaid would never be a mermaid again, and with each step that the little mermaid took she would experience the utmost pain. The most daunting term came last. If the prince did not fall in love with the little mermaid and was to marry someone else, then the little mermaid would turn into sea foam at dawn the day after the prince's marriage, and her soul would cease to exist. The little mermaid accepted all of the sea witch's terms and gulped down the potion. At the very first sight of the little mermaid the prince was mesmerized. He was instantly taken back by her beauty and grace although she was mute. While on land the prince and the little mermaid spent most of their time together. One day the king ordered the prince to visit the kingdom adjacent to theirs. Knowing that his father was trying to arrange a marriage, the prince assured the little mermaid that we will not marry the princess because he did not love her. The only person that he loved was the young maiden from the temple, and that the little mermaid was the closest thing he had to her. Sadly, the princess of the kingdom turned out to be the temple girl, so the princess and the prince were to soon be married. The little mermaid was completely devastated, and she could only think of the death that awaited her. However, before dawn her sisters' appeared with their hair cut short. They handed the little mermaid a knife. They told the little mermaid that in exchange for their hair, the sea witch agreed to give the little mermaid back her life as a mermaid as long as she was able to pierce the knife through the prince's heart and kill him. While the prince was sound asleep next to his new bride, the little mermaid crept to his bedside. Hovering over his still body, the little mermaid threw her arm back, but she could not bring herself to plunge the knife through the prince's body. The little mermaid threw the knife out of a window, and...
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