Wednesday, March 9, 2011

The Little Mermaid

The Little Mermaid, Ariel, trades her voice to an evil witch, Ursula, in order to acquire legs.  She then proceeds to woo the random prince she just happens to spot and fall in love with.  Ariel fails to fulfill the requirements of the contract with Ursula and therefore Ursula begins to attack everyone.  In the end, Ariel and Prince Eric are able to defeat the evil witch and get approval from King Neptune.  The two lovebirds get married and live happily ever after.

This is not the way the writer, Hans Christian Andersen, intended the ending to be.  He originally wrote two endings to the famous story.

In one version, Ariel sees her beloved prince marry a princess.  She is offered a knife to kill the prince, but refuses.  She then jumps into the water and dies by turning into froth.

Hans decided to modify the ending to make it more enjoyable.  Instead of killing Ariel, he makes her a “daughter of the air” who is waiting to go to Heaven.  Either way she dies, but in this version, she dies in a nicer way.

For once, the original fairytale was not bloody or disturbing like the other fairytales previously discussed.


  1. You're right about this fairytale not having to do with any violent or disturbing scenes or endings, but it's still sad! I mean in one version she becomes a suicidal fish who could have become homocidal and in the other version she basically waits to die. Why couldn't she have found a different mer-man or human to love? If she really is 16 in the novel like in the Disney movie, she had her whole life ahead of her. . .

  2. Wow! What an interesting fact to know! As children we are prone to happy endings and smooth fairytales, but we never know or understand the writer's purpose for creating an ending or amending an ending. I wonder how children would react if they were to see the original ending. Will they want to die too? Disregard Ariel as a princess? No Longer watch the movie? Hummm this will be a great case study.