The Little Mermaid Character Analysis

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Rarely, in fiction, are women portrayed as strong, independent characters who can think and stand up for themselves. Rarely, do they get to play a role other than the obedient housewife, or the emotional girlfriend. Strong female protagonists, despite their scarcity, do exist. But even the strongest women often turn into love struck, bashful little girls when they meet and fall in love with a man, and the rebellious red headed little mermaid is no exception.
The little mermaid’s change of character is far more obvious in Disney’s version of the tale. While the original little mermaid is quiet and thoughtful, Ariel is daring, courageous, and full of curiosity. It’s a refreshing change – she is not like all those other meek and submissive Disney
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Not only that, she is fearless even when being chased by a shark, and instead of needing to be saved by a handsome prince or anyone of the sort, she actually uses her own wits and abilities to escape. Unfortunately – and this was to be expected – her potential as a strong female protagonist plummets when she meets Prince Eric. Interestingly, Eric plays the role of the damsel-in-distress in the story – “His limbs were failing him, his beautiful eyes were closed, and he would have died had not the little mermaid come to his assistance”, but despite her moment of heroism, Ariel’s personality changes afterwards dramatically: “The next day, Ariel was acting very strange. She seemed dreamy and distracted. ‘He loves me, he loves me not,’ she giggled, picking the yellow petals off a sea lily. ‘He loves me!’” In the original version, she falls into depression: “It was her only comfort to sit in her own little garden, …show more content…
Many romance novels start off with strong, interesting female lead characters. But like Ariel, as soon they meets ‘the one’, they suddenly become meek and shy – they are no longer independent like they were before, and they become inferior. Why is it that people think girls prefer watching romance movies, or ‘chick flicks’, rather than the thrillers and action movies that boys enjoy? Why is it that female protagonists are always saddled with the role of falling in love, when boys get to run around with weapons and fight dragons? The stereotype that women are always looking for true love, waiting for her prince charming to sweep her off her feet, is deep-rooted into society, and fairy tales, as well as other pieces of fiction, contribute a huge part in its formation. Fairy tales are written for children – they are supposed to represent the dreams and fantasies children have in their childhood. However, the messages a lot of these fairy tales send to little girls often diminishes women and their worth in society, and it gives them an inaccurate depiction of the traits of a strong female character. Now, considering most other female protagonists, the little mermaid is quite admirable, in the respect that she takes actions in getting what she wants, unlike Cinderella and Snow White who sit around prettily waiting for fate to decide their lives

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