The little mermaid

The original story of the little mermaid is that

she must kill the prince in order to be human,

and in the end, she loves him too much

and kills herself instead.

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9 gânduri despre &8222;The little mermaid&8221;

  1. Honestly, the story’s kind of a downer despite the romance of it. It’s a pity that she’s unable to be satisfied with herself as she is, and comits suicide due to her low self esteem.

    • Very interesting interpretation. So would you suggest the little mermaid to kill another person to stay alive? Be selfish and destroy anything/everybody who stands on her way to reaching her personal goal? There are plenty of people around who would do that. However such people are rarely loved and admired by others.

      • I was very small when my mother introduce me to the classics of HC Andersen, and as I grew up I’ve been quite intrigued by the myriad interpretations and crticisms of his incredible stories; including The Little Mermaid.

        Throughout the versions I have read, Anderson gives no indication that the mermaid had to kill anyone in order to be human. Instead, by not drinking the Sea Witch’s postion, the mermaid would live out her normal 300 years of life and then die, fading away to soulless sea foam. By drinking the potion she’d live an average human lifespan, with some unatural difficulties as a result of her supernatural transformation, and only if the prince genuinely loved her would she be able to share his soul and die with her soul going to heaven for eternal life (that’s the Christian religious values that were imbibed into the moral).

        I certainly would not advocate that the memaid, or anyone, kill anyone else in order to achieve their objectives in life.

        Anderson made a number of versions to this tale, particularly to the ending when he began to receive criticism for the harsh one he originally wrote. I’m not familiar with the version in which she had to slay the prince. I’ll have to look that up. Who’s the publisher?

    • Very interesting. I was aware of only one version in which Mermaid had two choices only at the end of the story: to kill the prince or die with the sunrise. Here is an excerpt from the version I’ve used on my blog at http://otrazhenie.wordpress.com/2012/12/10/sometimes-you-have-to-hold-your-head-up-high/ :

      ‘See the sharp blade! Before the sun rises, you must strike it into the Prince’s heart, and when his warm blood bathes your feet they will grow together and become a fish tail. Then you will be a mermaid again, able to come back to us in the sea, and live out your three hundred years before you die and turn into dead salt sea foam. Make haste! He or you must die before sunrise. … In a few minutes the sun will rise and you must die.” You can find the full text of this translation at http://www.andersen.sdu.dk/vaerk/hersholt/TheLittleMermaid_e.html .

      That’s the way this story goes in all English and Russian translations I’ve seen. None of these translations has any indications that the Little Mermaid had some issues with her self esteem or that she willingly took her life.

  2. Otrazhenie, i haven’t read that post until now. Very interesting, thanks. i don’t suggest to kill another person, is just that i don’t believe someone should comite suicide..there is always another way..it has to be. Death is not the ony way. i wanna believe so. Thanks for stoppin’ by. Have a good day:)

    • I’m totally agree with you re. suicide, Naomikko. As we’ve just discovered with themofman, it looks like we were talking about different versions of this story. In all the versions I’ve seen the Little Mermaid did not commit suicide. She died with the sunrise, because the prince married another lady. That was part of the deal with the witch. The only way she could avoid death was by killing the prince. I was not aware of any other versions of this story until now.

      It is amazing to see how stories and ideas get transformed over time and when they move from culture to culture.

  3. Themofman, Andersen is a great writer, i love his stories and just like u i;ve been introduced to his wonderful world from a fragile age…i don;t know honestly who is the publisher of this little story i posted, i found it on tumblr and i thought is interesting to see it from that perspective…it was like „hey, can love be that strong?”..
    Kelihasablog, that’s the amazing part of reading – u get new ideas, new perspectives. Always fight for your believes.
    Thank u all for stopping by and comment 🙂

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