Developmental Issues In The Little Mermaid

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Developmental issues

Freud would say that Ariel is stuck in the Anal phase of Freud’s stages of Psychosexual development. She is anal explosive. At the beginning of the book, King Triton, Ariel’s father, can’t find her at the family concert. He is enraged when she shows up after the concert because she disobeyed him after he told her she was not allowed to go to the surface, or her grotto any longer. Ariel was very disorganised with her time management because she lost track of time while she was exploring with her friends. Erikson would say Ariel showed conflict within the Identity vs. Role Confusion stage. Ariel was known by everyone else as her father’s, King Triton’s, daughter. With the exception of Flounder and Sebastian,
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While you might think that she is obedient because she is a princess, Ariel definitely had some moments of disobedience. King Triton had told Ariel countless times that she wasn’t allowed to go to the surface at all, yet she did almost every day.

Ariel was very much influenced by a certain group- humans. All she wanted to do was whatever humans did, including looking like one and acting like one.

There are multiple stereotypes in the little mermaid, but one stereotype that Ariel abides by is the gender stereotypes. Ariel did stereotypical girl activities including singing, dressing up in pretty pink, dresses, and daydreaming about her sweetheart, and she did not do man boy-like activities throughout the book. Similarly, Ariel is restrained from following her dreams or do what she desired by her father. Eric’s father let Eric go wherever he pleased.

While Ariel doesn’t show any prejudice, she is exposed to prejudice acts. King Triton was prejudiced, as well as discriminatory, to humans. He was against them in every way, shape, and form. He thought they were the most dangerous and evil creatures because they eat fish. Ariel was against her father’s prejudice acts and had to find a way to go around it to meet her
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Ariel experiences an approach-avoidance conflict with Ursula. Ariel has to decide whether she wants to keep her voice, and not get legs, or she can give up her voice for legs. Ariel is given a positive aspect, as well as a negative aspect to the conflict. This may lead her to feel unsure of what to do, but she later decides to give up her voice for legs.


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