Little Mermaid and Feminism Essay

605 Words Oct 22nd, 2013 3 Pages
Lit Theory In The Little Mermaid

The Little Mermaid by Hans Christian Anderson is very different to the familiar Disney version, but something that they both have in common is the underlying idea of feminism. Both versions are mainly about women and the male characters have to depend on these women to save their lives. The main character is female and so is the villain and both, in their own way, have a lot more power than the men in the story. A main observation that supports feminism in The Little Mermaid is that there are almost no male characters in the story. There is a sea king who is the little mermaid’s father but he is only mentioned. The only male character that has even the slightest meaning to the story is the prince
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The gruesome things that the witch had done to the mermaid, such as cutting out her tongue and making a potion that would have the mermaid feel as if she were walking on knives, are traits that are usually seen in men in epic tales of battle or Greek tragedies. Lastly there are also the little mermaid’s sisters. They bravely go to the sea witch to plead with her and make a bargain knowing how evil she is to try and save their sisters’ life. It is not the sea king that tries to save his daughter or the prince, who remains oblivious to all of this even at the very end, but the other princesses. They, like their little sister, took matters into their own hands to try to save someone they loved. The little mermaid herself displayed a final show of strength in that even though she could have saved her own life by killing the prince who did not marry her she chose to die rather than kill someone she still loved, and she was rewarded for it in the end.
In conclusion, the women of The Little Mermaid are given many traits that are generally found in men. They were all portrayed as brave, determined, active, violent, and/or cruel. It is because of these traits that the women in this story are by far more powerful than the

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