The Little Mermaid Character Analysis

1321 Words6 Pages
Whether she is singing "Part of Your World" from within a cavern filled with knick-knacks or watching longingly as her sisters partake in the wonders of age old traditions on the surface, the Little Mermaid is a fairytale character which countless children have enjoyed encountering throughout the nearly two centuries that she has existed. In the time between The Little Mermaid 's conception and the present, this tale about a young sea-princess longing for a life out of the ocean has been adapted into multiple stories, plays, musicals, and films; yet, with each adaptation comes a different set of artistic liberties taken by the creators which meld the mermaid into a form which vastly contrasts with the original text. The original Little Mermaid…show more content…
Despite the fact that The Little Mermaid is an iconic story with memorable characters and is beloved by millions of people, it is still evident that the premise is problematic, especially when its target audience is young, impressionable children (primarily females) who are themselves still trying to form their own identities. Her change from mermaid to human denotes a huge shift in who she is as a character, as she is literally being changed from one being to another, and in doing so she must do away with everything that made her who she was before she met the prince: a mermaid, a princess, a daughter, a sister, a beautiful singer, and more. This may have been considered collateral damage by both Andersen and Disney, but it does not excuse the reality of the impact of the message the story promotes. In the Disney film, Ariel considers what the cost of being human would be as she negotiates with the sea witch, "If I become a human, that means I 'll never be with my father or sisters again" (Clements and Musker), to which the Sea-Witch Ursula replies, "That 's right...But--you 'll have your man. Life 's full of tough choices, innit?" (Clements and Musker). This issue of surrendering feminine individuality in pursuit of the approval of men transcends both versions of the story, and plays into who the mermaid is, what she stands for, and what she thinks of her

More about The Little Mermaid Character Analysis

Open Document