Gender Roles In The Little Mermaid

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American actress Marilyn Monroe once said, “I don't mind living in a man's world, as long as I can be a woman in it.” (Monroe 22) In Disney’s The Little Mermaid, it is evident women are vapid and submissive because of the divisions of labour and separate spheres which is depicted; through the feminist theory, the applications of Jack Campbell’s Monomyth, and Northrop Frye’s three levels of language. In the beginning, Ariel lacks autonomy because of the male dominated society she lives in. Ariel falls in love with a man and she cannot get him off of her mind until her father, the King, realizes that she has been acting strangely. As a result, King Triton has his male assistant, Sebastian oversee what Ariel is up to. Clearly, Sebastian is not…show more content…
However, when Ariel saves Prince Eric and falls in love with him, the King is furious and burns her collection of artefacts to assure she plays the stereotypical female role, instead, of trying to be a hero because it is an animus trait. The roles of gender as a social construction are evident because men want solutions to conflicts that arise. King Triton could have let Ariel live her dream life earlier in the film by giving her legs with his trident, though he did not want her to go near humans. The King is the only one with a trident, proving the lack of power women have because he can do anything and make the female puppets to please him. For instance, King Triton is furious when Ariel goes missing during the concert and forbids her from going to shore. Ariel is aware of the negative outcomes, which may arise from the situation using a hyperbole she states, “Oh, the concert! Oh my gosh my father's going to kill me!” (The Little Mermaid)Additionally, the King is outnumbered because he has several daughters, but he still possesses more power than all of them the King claims, “Not another word! And I am never, never to hear of you going to the surface again. Is that clear?” (The Little Mermaid)The King
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