Analysis Of ' The Little Mermaid ' Essay

819 Words Feb 26th, 2016 4 Pages
When I first watched Disney 's version of "The Little Mermaid" when I was younger, I knew there was something wrong with Ariel giving up her voice. I was so annoyed at her for making that decision -- Why would she give up her talent and her ability to talk for Prince Eric? What was even the point of doing that if she couldn 't talk to him? After now having read the original Hans Christian Anderson version, this time with a feminist theoretical lens applied to the story, I better understand why elementary-school-me recognized the problem with the mermaid giving up her voice: Women having a voice, and having it heard, is something for which feminists have fought hard. At times, "The Little Mermaid" encourages female readers to not use their voice, for they see a beautiful princess do so in order to obtain true love. This is displayed in both the movie and the original fairy tale. However, while I am still annoyed that readers see the mermaid lose her voice for a man, I do think that Anderson gives a more complete picture of the inner feelings that the mermaid has, especially after choosing to give up her voice. In fact, unlike in the movie where Ariel is rewarded for making the deal with the sea witch, the mermaid in the original fairy tale is so tormented by her decision that she chooses to take her own life. From a feminist perspective, I think Anderson 's original story strongly shows the consequences of not having a voice. Looking at how beauty plays a large role in the…

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