The Little Mermaid, abstract

The Little Mermaid, abstract

The Little Mermaid is written by H.C. Andersen (1837)

The Little Mermaid lives in the sea but falls in love with a human Prince. Without him knowing it, she saves him from drowning when his ship goes down in a terrible storm. The Little Mermaid wants to become human for two reasons. Human beings apparently have an immortal soul. She wants to have that too. And as human, the Prince can love her back and they will live happily ever after. She asks the sea-witch to help her to become human.

 The witch makes this offer to the Mermaid: She will transform the Mermaids fishtail into legs if the she will let her, the Sea Witch, cut out her tongue and sacrifice her beautiful singing voice. The Mermaid agrees and becomes human. Her legs hurt when she walks. She dances beautifully though. She meets the Prince but without her voice she is not able to tell him that she was the one who saved him from drowning – and that she loves him. So instead the Prince marries a Princess.

The Mermaid is told that in order to save herself, she will have to kill the Prince. As she refuses to do that, she transforms again. She turns into a spirit of the air who earns her immortal soul by watching over the deeds of the children. This is her second transformation: being human and then becoming – one might say – The Fairy.