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Fairy Tale Archetype
Transcript of Fairy Tale Archetype
In both versions The Little Mermaid is the youngest, and most attractive of all the siblings.
The Little Mermaid saw the prince within her first encounter with humans and he was thrown from the boat.
Both save the Prince from drowning.
Ariel has always been fascinated with the human world. Her father, King Triton, was against this because it was dangerous and he wanted to protect his daughter. Ariel discovers a ship after going to the surface. She saves and falls in love with Prince Eric who started drowning when started sinking. After discovering his daughter's new found love, King Triton destroys her secret collection of human objects. Furious at her father and determined to be with her new love, Ariel makes a deal with the sea witch, Ursula, to give up her voice and in return be transformed in to a human for three days. Ariel spends this time on land attempting to get Prince Eric to fall in love with her. Ursula, seeing that Ariel is close to achieving her goal, transforms herself in to a human and puts Eric under a spell to turn his affections to herself. Discovering this, Ariel attempts to save Eric but fails to do so before the three days are up. This turns Ariel back in to a mermaid and she regains her voice, but before she can be taken by Ursula, King Triton sacrifices himself and takes his daughter's place. Ursula, now with Triton's power, attempts to destroy Ariel but is killed when Eric pierces her through the stomach with a ship's bowspirit. With Ursula gone, peace is restored. King Triton seeing his daughter's happiness, turns her in to a human. Ariel and Prince Eric marry and get their happily ever after.
Archetypal Role :
2. Star Crossed Lover
3. Devil Figure/Villain
5. Friendly Beast
6. Threshold Guardian
The Little Mermaid
was originally written in 1836 by Hans Christian Andersen. The original story has many Danish origins, as Andersen was from Denmark, and the origins are apparent throughout the story through the many cultural entities specific to Denmark. This is accentuated by the gender-equality lens that the story takes, not only as women seen as equals, but also by the men seen as equal caregivers. The Little Mermaid was made famous by Disney in 1989 with it's Hollywood adaptation, but the pop culture references do not stop there. Many movies- such as
Aquamarine and Ponyo
- and TV Shows- suchas
Once Upon a Time
- have been inspired by
The Little Mermaid
. The story has been adapted into not only English, but also Japanese. The most famous adaptations are
by Alice Hoffman,
by Anna Banks, and
by Elizabeth Fama.
Cruz, Rachelle, A.N. Devers, Sarah Kuhn, and Shana Mlawski. "Body or Soul: On Versions of "The Little Mermaid"" The Los Angeles Review of Books. 22 June 2013. Web. 22 May 2015.
"Denmark - Language, Culture, Customs and Etiquette." Denmark. Kwintessential. Web. 22 May 2015.
Andersen, Hans Christian. "The Little Mermaid." Hans Christian Andersen:. C. A. Reitzel, 1837. Web. 22 May 2015.
Ariel is the heroine of this tale as she exhibits traits of the archetypal hero. She stands for good and is seen as a virtuous individual trying to prove herself to those closest to her. Similar to most heroes/heroines she has a nemesis seeking to exploit her most vulnerable quality as well as her limitations. In the end she achieves her goal, another key trait found in heroes/heroines. Ariel functions as the heroine as a way to reverse gender roles and to show a more feminist take on a fairytale.
Call to Adventure:
Ariel is not allowed to go to the surface, however she is fascinated by the human world.
Acceptance of Call:
Ariel gives up her voice in order to become human and live with Prince Eric.
Ursula used potions to give Ariel human legs in order to be with Prince Eric.
Ariel refuses to listen to the warnings about the human world and goes up to the ship to see Prince Eric.
Rebirth of the Hero:
Ariel drinks the potion and transforms into a human.
Ariel must make Prince Eric fall in love with her otherwise her soul will become Ursula's.
Ariel turns human.
Eric falls in love with Ursula disguised as a human.
Ariel's experiences human life while trying to make Prince Eric fall in love with her.
Ariel returns to save Prince Eric from Ursula.
Fairy Tale Archetype
The Little Mermaid
Stephanie Gaia, Nick Belair, Soha Mumtaz, and Cameron Murray
Little Mermaid is depressed, juvenile, she mourns for an unfortunate body and longs for an immortal soul. This represents her adolescence as she is changing from a child to a young woman.
The moral here is that self-sacrifice can reward you.
In the ending she is presented as a hero as she chose not to kill the prince in order to save herself, despite the fact that he married another woman, and that not doing this will lead to her death.
Little Mermaid thinks her new legs feel like she is walking on knives.
Turns into sea foam in the end.
Ariel is very vibrant and happy.
Ariel focuses more on being human and on the relationship/love aspect of being a woman.
Instead of looking into her immortal soul, this version looks more into Ariel's self discovery as a woman.
The moral of this story is that dreams do come true.
Like the majority of the Disney princess movies, the star crossed lovers get married and have a happy ending.
Though she achieves her dream of becoming human and marrying the prince, she loses her strong sense of individuality as a woman.
Tenets of the Lens
Application to Story
Fractured Fairy Tale Continued
Fractured Fairy Tale Continued
Notion of male dominance through women.
Women assume male values.
Issues of gender and sexuality.
Reflect stereotypical attitudes.
King Triton is very dominant and protective over Ariel.
Ariel is adventurous.
Eric still had to save Ariel in the end.
King Triton assumed Ariel was a child and that she did not know what she wanted.
King Triton runs entire ocean.
Hans Christian Andersen was from Denmark, a gender neutral environment; perfect for having a feminist point of view. Men were also more active in child care, explaining why King Triton was very active in taking care of his daughters. The rules in Danish culture are very strict, which is why it was such a big deal that Ariel broke the rules and stayed at the surface. Women are generally more respected in Denmark than in other countries which explains the reverence Ariel has for her grandmother.
3. Ursula, Flotsam, and Jetsam
5. Flounder and Max
6. King Triton and Grimsby
Once upon a time, far out in the ocean, off of the coast of West Palm Beach Florida, deep, deep down dwelled the Mermaid Kingdom ruled by Queen Vivian. The Queen had one daughter, Amber, who was named after her beautiful, stunning amber eyes. One day Amber got bored and wandered away from the palace. As she was venturing out in the sea a massive, distorted, shape caught her eye. Amber was curious as to what this odd shape was so she swam upward towards the surface to go and check it out. Upon her arrival she saw something that she had assumed only existed in stories. Humans. One human in particular caught her eye. He was tall, with dark brown hair and piercing green eyes, the color of sea kelp. He was standing near the helm of the ship, on some strange device tapping at it furiously when suddenly the boat crashed into a mass of giant jagged rocks that had emerged out of nowhere. He was thrown off the ship and with a manly scream he belly-flopped into the water. Amber panicked when he didn't resurface. Frantically she began to search for the boy who she had became so fond of. When she finally found him, she rushed him to the shore. She began to sing to him in order to bring him to conscience. The boy awoke to a terrible screeching noise, it sounded as if a whale was being brutally tortured.
As his vision began to clear, he saw a pair of stunning amber eyes. In the distance he heard his name being shouted, “Matt, dude what happened?” one of his friends asked as the group of them approached. When Matt looked back to see the beholder of the eyes again, the person had mysteriously disappeared. Asking his friends if they had seen someone when they had found him, they said no and looked at him as if he was crazy. Amber longed to see Matt again. She asked her mother permission to turn her into a human so that she could go to the shore and search for him, but her mother denied her request and in a fit of rage Queen Vivian locked Amber in her room. Amber, heartbroken and furious with her mother, snuck out and went to see her Aunt Agnes, the renown evil sea witch. Agnes offered Amber a potion to give her legs in exchange for the color of Amber’s eyes, but in order to keep her legs she had two weeks to make Matt marry her. Desperate to see Matt and more of the human world, Amber hastily took the deal. With her new found legs Amber was washed up on the shore of West Palm Beach, the place she had rescued and left Matt. Coincidentally, at the time, Matt was walking his pet Koala, Erwin. Erwin was hunting for eucalyptus leaves on the beach, but all he managed to find was seaweed, which he had learned quickly wasn’t very tasty. But, under the large pile of seaweed, low and behold was Amber. Amber was ecstatic to see Matt, but was sad when she realized that Matt didn’t recognize her due to the lack of color in her eyes. Matt, intrigued by the stranger and her story, took her in and showed her around Florida, falling for Amber quickly, but deep down he knew his true love was the mysterious girl with the amber eyes. No soon after, the sea witch had discovered that Amber and the Prince were falling for each other.
Enraged by the idea that the spoiled sea brat would get her happy ending, Agnes took action. She drank the same potion she had given Amber but added an extra ingredient, the color of Amber’s beautiful eyes. Agnes entered the human world, and soon enough Matt had found her and assumed that this was the girl that had saved him. He introduced Agnes to his father, the sausage king, and a massive wedding was arranged immediately. Amber was heart broken, she knew that the girl Matt was about to wed was her Aunt Agnes, but she didn’t know how to make her beloved see that. Not accomplishing what was promised of the deal, Amber was turned back into a mermaid. As she was moping around the sea near the ship the wedding was taking place on, an idea struck her. Amber hurried back to the Mermaid Kingdom, apologizing and explaining her whole story to her mother. Queen Vivian was filled with so much joy at her only daughter’s return that she granted Amber’s wish. Amber returned back to the ship and requested Agnes to sing. Put on the spot, Agnes complied to Amber’s request and sang, but instead of the inharmonious sounds of a dying whale, what came out was so beautiful that it broke the potion’s magic and returned the natural color to Amber’s eyes. Matt then realized that it had been Amber all along, that she was his true love. Agnes enraged, attempted to kill Amber, but Matt was quick on his feet and pulled out his cellphone, to take a selfie, reflecting the magic back towards Agnes. Agnes melted and disappeared into the depths of tartarus, never to be seen again. Matt and Amber, with their parents blessings, got married and lived happily ever after.
In the the Disney version of
The Little Mermaid
, Ariel is embodied as a female character who thinks and acts independently, even rebelliously, instead of hanging around passively waiting for the fates to decide her destiny. She's defined by her curiosity, bravery, and her desire for adventure, which is nothing like Andersen's sad, juvenile, noble sea-maid. Most criticize that the story of a girl who gives up her voice in order to gain a man, couldn't possibly be a feminist idea. But one could also argue that Disney's version is the tale of an adventurous young woman who challenges the patriarchy to explore an unknown world that she wants to experience more of and is willing to go to extreme lengths for an opportunity. This idea is especially empahsized in the song "Part of Your World", Ariel wants answers, she wants to take a stand, she represents ambitions and dreams, bravery, and she rejects the limitations of her father's world. Ursula, the sea witch can be seen as an anti-feminist archetype, displaying that her struggle with Ariel is a generational fight between a young feminist and an aging non-feminist over the course of the future. Also, Ariel has already rescued the prince so in the climax of the story, against Ursula, it's the prince's turn to sacrifice his safety to commit to Ariel and therefore becoming her liberated equal, exhibiting his shared passion and love for her.
Both find it in the strength within them to approach The Sea Witch for help.
The Prince falls in love with another woman.
Her voice is sweet, and her skin, hair, and fiure is beautiful.
The little mermaid is the daughter of the mer-king, who lives in a castle under the sea. She is the youngest of six sisters. The mer-king is a widower and his mother keeps house for him and the children. The little mermaid, the most beautiful of the king's six daughters, has a quiet nature. The king allows the princesses to go to the surface of the sea on the occasion of their 15th birthdays. They all look forward to this special occasion, with the older ones who have had a glimpse sharing their stories with the younger mermaids. When it is the little mermaid's turn to swim to the surface, she sees a ship with a prince on it, celebrating his birthday. The ship sinks and the mermaid rescues the prince and takes him to shore, returning to the water before humans see her. After this brief encounter with the prince, the little mermaid starts to yearn to become human and win his love. She goes to a sea witch to ask for help. The sea witch gives her a potion to rid herself of her tail and grow legs, which the witch warns her will cause her great pain to walk on. In return, the little mermaid gives up her voice to the sea witch. If the little mermaid can get the prince to return her love and marry her, she will gain a human soul. Otherwise, the little mermaid will die and not live the normal mermaid lifespan of 300 years. The little mermaid swims to the surface and goes to the prince's castle. Her new legs feel like she is walking on knives. The prince sees her as a foundling and befriends her. She charms the whole court with her dancing, but cannot communicate except with her eyes and gestures. Ultimately, the prince finds himself a human bride. The little mermaid's sisters and grandmother suggest she kill the prince in order to get her fins back, but she is unable to because she loves him and the little mermaid loses her life. She becomes a spirit daughter of the air who will gain an immortal soul after 300 years by performing good deeds for humans.
Andersen, Hans Christian. "The Little Mermaid." Hans Christian Andersen:. Hans Christian Andersen, 1836. Web. 20 May 2015.
"Archetype - Examples and Definition of Archetype." Literary Devices. N.p., 19 Aug. 2013. Web. 20 May 2015.
"Country Profiles - Gobil Guide to culture, Customs, and Etiquette" Denmark - Language, Culture, Customs and Etiquette - 2014. Web. 20 May 2015.
"Denmark - Language, Culture, Customs and Etiquette." Denmark. N.p., n.d. Web. 20 May 2015.
Golden, Carl. "The 12 Common Archetypes." The 12 Common Archetypes. Web. 20 May 2015.
Pickett, Tim. "The Little Mermaid." IMDB. IMDB.com. Web. 20 May 2015.
"The Elements of a Fairy Tale." The Elements of a Fairy Tale." The Elements of a Fairy Tale. Web. 20 May 2015.
"The Hero's journey." Hero's Journey. Web. 20 May 2015.
Drum to your own beat
Have the courage to follow your heart
Face your fears
Find your voice
Listen to your heart