Richard Van Camp The Mermaids Symbolism

813 Words 4 Pages
The Good and Evil
Mermaids are majestic and beautiful creatures that are often misunderstood by humans. When one sees a mermaid they are usually struck in awe. With their superficial beauty, they can take advantage of people in good ways and bad through manipulation and deceit. In Richard Van Camp’s short story ‘Mermaids’ the author depicts the mermaids with duo personalities. They are seen as both angels and devils using their beauty through the use of symbolism. In the story, the mermaids seduce and tempt the humans with their beauty into thinking they are perfect angel-like creatures. Angels are described as perfect, divine and heavenly like creatures, which fits the way the mermaids are seen in this short story by Van Camp. Torchy begins
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He mentions how the mermaids captured their attention so quickly that “they leapt from their boats and swam to them” (Van Camp 4). The sailors were minding their own business when they saw them and immediately focused on the mermaids. They forgot what they were doing and just jumped to swim to them. The mermaids were described by Torchy as “such beautiful women” (Van Camp 4), which is why the sailors were so attracted to them. Their beauty intensifies them, giving them the power to control and seduce the sailors. Even the mermen as described by Torchy were so beautiful that they turned the sailors bisexual. The mermaids and mermen’s beauty was an aphrodisiac to anyone who saw them. Anyone who would see the underwater sea creatures would instantly fall in love with them. Although love can be associated with both good and bad connotations, the sailors feel as though the love they feel are good and amazing sentiments towards the mermaids and mermen. The sailors just wanted to stay with them …show more content…
Devils are creatures that do bad things and the mermaids and mermen are symbolized as them as they can be manipulative with their beauty. When the sailors leap from the boats, some of them die swimming to the sea creatures. The sailors would actually sacrifice their lives if they had to, they would die for them if it meant they got to be closer to them. Although it seemed like it was worth it to them, the sailors were throwing away everything they’ve ever worked up to for the mermaids and mermen. In Torchy’s own words: “they forgot about their houses, mortgages, their ol’ ladies, they forgot about all that” (Van Camp 4). The sailors gave up things that mattered in their life just because of the beauty the mermaids and mermen possessed. The men were in love with the mermaids and mermen to the point where they’d give their whole lives for them if that meant they could be with them forever. They didn’t care about anything other than them. The mermaids and mermen made the men selfish and greedy in that sense. The men were so focused on these creatures that they even forgot to do daily necessities like eating. That is how in love the men were with the mermaids and mermen. They would simply admire their beauty and do nothing else in the world. These mermaids and mermen were so pretty, according to Torchy they were “more beautiful

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