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The Little Mermaid @ Girl-Doll Fashion Gossip

  The Little Mermaid (Doll Article)

(August 20, 2007 by JeZz Send DollMail )
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The Little Mermaid was originally written by Hans-Christian Andersen and quite a bit of the original story actually made it into the popular movie correctly. Of course Mr. Andersen did not include any singing crabs or obnoxiously dumb sea gulls, but the actual plot lines, up to a point, are very similar.

In the original story, there is a sea king on the floor of the ocean. He has five beautiful daughters, the youngest of which is a fabulous singer. She is not named Ariel, in the story, but probably wishes she were. Her original name is Sirenetta.

Sirenetta is dying to get to the surface of the ocean so she can check out the sun and see the humans, but her parents (including her mother who is absent from the movie) forbid it until she is fifteen. Sirenetta is impatient, but obeys her parents. We should learn a lesson here, I think.

Freedom!

Finally, on her fifteenth birthday, Sirenetta’s father gives her a carved hair pin and instructions. He explains that mermaids and mermen do not have souls like humans do, so only bad things can come from contact with them. With some of the humans I know, I can see where this would be good advice.

Sirenetta finally makes her great escape and swims to the surface so quickly her fish friends can’t keep up. When she gets there, she finds a rock, relaxes and enjoys the sun. Lo and behold a ship comes by shooting off fireworks for the captain’s 20th birthday. Just like in the movie, a sudden storm comes up and sinks the ship.

The handsome captain is on the verge of drowning when Sirenetta, who’d been watching him the whole time, catches him and drags him to shore. Here is where the story starts to go off track.

Lost Love

Sirenetta hears other humans approaching, so she goes back into the water while the prince is still unconscious. Three other humans find him and when he opens his eyes he sees the youngest of them – a beautiful girl. He’s instantly in love.

Sirenetta goes home and sobs in her room for days the way any good fifteen-year-old should, and then goes to the Witch of the Deeps to ask for help. The witch is willing to help Sirenetta in exchange for her voice (just like in the movie), and gives her a potion.

The Witch does warn the young mermaid that taking the potion will give her legs, but will hurt excruciatingly. Then, every step she takes after that will be unbearably painful. Apparently love is blind and not very smart, because Sirenetta takes the potion anyway.

Once she is human, she can never again become a mermaid. She will simply dissolve like sea foam if she tries to return to the ocean.

The captain, who is also a prince, finds her on the beach and feels sorry for her. He takes her to the castle and becomes her friend. He is still in love with the other young woman, but she had returned to her home. Sirenetta is in agony with every step she takes and her heart is still broken because she knows he doesn’t love her.

A Happy Ending?

Then, one day the young woman the prince loves comes back. It turns out she loves the prince, too and agrees to a wedding. Sirenetta, the prince’s friend, goes along on the ship during and after the wedding. She is so miserable that she’s planning to jump back to the sea and dissolve.

Suddenly her sisters appear and offer her a magic knife. They’ve traded their hair to the Witch of the Deeps for it, and if Sirenetta kills the prince with the knife she can return to the ocean, and everything will be like it was.

Sirenetta goes to the prince’s room, but looking at his beautiful face makes her realize she can’t kill him. She goes back to the deck of the ship and throws the knife into the water. Then she gets ready to jump in herself.

Suddenly Sirenetta is drawn into the air and hears voices. She is suddenly able to speak again, and asks the voices what is happening. She learns that by doing good deeds to humans, she has been rescued from her soulless death and taken into the sky by the fairies of the air. Now she can help humans for the rest of eternity.

I don’t know about you, but I like the movie ending a bit better. The guy gets the girl, the girl gets the guy, the Witch gets punished and they all live happily ever after (except the Witch, of course.) But as we know, most original fairy tales didn’t have a happy ending – at least according to our more modern definition. I guess becoming a fairy of the sky is the best a mermaid without a soul (or tail) can hope for.


Comments
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Smellybuzz

25/Female
Yorktown Heights, NY
Posted On: August 22, 2007
I'm a collage student double major English and human rights and one of my hobbies is collecting each country's version of classic fairy tails. The Russian version is the best. I highly recommend Russian and German fairy tails. (In the German Cinderella story, one of the step sisters cuts off her toes to fit in the slippers and yet somehow the prince doesn’t notice. Seems like the first thing you’d notice about a persons bare feet, but that’s fairy tails for you. )
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de1

107/Female
Stockton, CA
Posted On: August 22, 2007
I love this story...and more then the movie!!!
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mrs_steptoe

21/Female
United Kingdom
Posted On: August 22, 2007
I think I prefer this version of the story!
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The_Aquanator

20/Female
Japan
Posted On: August 21, 2007
I luv this story more then the movie!!!!
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mangaka_worshi

20/Female
Japan
Posted On: August 21, 2007
I like this verison better than the disney verison. The disney movie is nice but this more has more meaning then the disney one. Sad ending really give an emotional impact; happy ending might end things the way people want them to, but that never happens in real life. (Sorry if I sound dark but it's the truth.)
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Jenny181

24/Female
Canada
Posted On: August 21, 2007
i heard the original story of the little mermaid in the fourth grade except the story ended with her dieing

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coreyscuz

26/Female
Posted On: August 21, 2007
i think i used to have a copy of the original version when I was younger I liked it better than the movie personnally because she loved him way to much to kill him so technically she has a soul
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blubbernugget1

21/Female
Boca Raton, FL
Posted On: August 21, 2007
i absolutely love the little mermaid she is my favorite princess i love her i love the original and the disney version i
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Maddie705

20/Female
Willowick, OH
Posted On: August 21, 2007
I want the original movie!!!!!
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virtugirl333

23/Female
Baltimore, MD
Posted On: August 21, 2007
I'll have to find more orgnels! This sonds so cool!
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superhero_1

26/Female
United Kingdom
Posted On: August 21, 2007
Little Mermaid Rocks! I Love Fairytales! I LikedDisney And The Brothers Grimm Story Equally.
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alabamablonde1

20/Female
Elkmont, AL
Posted On: August 20, 2007
Cool article. I definately would prefer the movie though...the book seems a bit strange. I've heard from my teachers that most orignial fairy tales are strange and a bit scary, especially Cinderalla.

Great that you've done your homework on this one.
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SILLYx_LoveSon

20/Female
United Kingdom
Posted On: August 20, 2007
Great article, JeZz.

I like the original, but I've always fancied the Disney versions of fairytales. Especially when they have a happy ending.

Both are definitely wonderful, although, it kind of stinks that Sirenetta becomes a fairy or whatever.

It's one of the more happy Hans-Christian Anderson fairy-tales, I must say.

xXxLilyxXx
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Mrs_11

21/Female
Jacksonville, FL
Posted On: August 20, 2007
THE MOVIES R AWSOME
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SilverLily22

25/Female
Zionsville, IN
Posted On: August 20, 2007
First of all, thanks for doing another fairy tale article. Second, thanks for covering this one so well. You did a great job, Jessica. :-) I agree that the movie version is better (I even like the crab and the seagull in there, not to mention Flounder the fish), but the original has its merits.

For anyone who wants to read the original story, I suggest going to http://www.surlalunefairytales.com. It's a great fairy tale website with lots of original versions of fairy tales we all know and love, plus other versions from different countries. Check it out!
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