1 - Introduction
The Little Mermaid is a fairy tale about a young mermaid who is fascinated by the things of the world above the sea. I have read the book and have seen the film in order to compare them. I noticed that the two stories are very different. The story of the book is more dramatic and the story of the film is more romantic, more appropriate for children and has a happyending.
2 – The book’s story
The Little Mermaid lived in an underwater kingdom with her father who was the Sea King, her grandmother and her five elder sisters. Each of the daughters of the Sea King was born one year apart. The little mermaid was the prettiest of them all, her skin was as clean and delicate as a rose-leaf, and her eyes as blue as the deepest sea, but, like all the others, she hadno feet, and her body ended in a fish’s tail. Her voice was the sweetest in the world.
She was a strange child. While her sisters were delighted with the wonderful things which they obtained from the wrecks of vessels, she cared for nothing but her pretty red flowers, like the sun, excepting a beautiful marble statue representing a handsome boy. Nothing gave her so much pleasure as to hear aboutthe world above the sea.
When a mermaid was 15, she was allowed to swim to the surface to watch the world above. When the sisters became old enough, one of them visited the surface every year. Then when they returned, the Little Mermaid listened eagerly to their various descriptions of the surface and of human beings.
When the Little Mermaid turned 15, she swam to the surface. She saw a shipwith a handsome prince and fell in love with him. Suddenly a storm began and destroyed the boat where the prince was. The prince fell into the water and she saved him from a near-drowning. So, she kissed his high, smooth forehead, and stroked back his wet hair. He seemed to her like the marble statue in her little garden. She swam with the handsome prince to the beach near a temple. She stayed thereuntil a young girl from the temple found him. The prince never saw the Little Mermaid.
After this, the Little Mermaid returned to her kingdom and asked to her grandmother whether humans can live forever if they don’t drown. The grandmother explained that the term of life of human beings is shorter than theirs, which is about three hundred years, but that when mermaids die they become the foam onthe surface of the water and cease to exist, while humans have an eternal soul. Her grandmother also explained that the only way to a mermaid win an immortal soul is making a man fall in love with her and that the mermaid must be more to him than his parents and he must promise to be true to her here and hereafter.
The Little Mermaid, wishing an immortal soul, visited the Sea Witch, who sold hera potion that gave her legs, in exchange for her beautiful voice. The Sea Witch warned that drinking the potion, the little mermaid would feel great pain, on the other hand she, then, would have two beautiful legs, would dance like no human has ever danced before, but at every step she would take it would feel as if she were treading upon sharp knives. The Sea Witch also said that once she becamea human, she would never be able to return to the sea and she only would get an immortal soul if she found the true love’s kiss and if the prince loved her and married her. Otherwise, at the first morning after he marries another, the heart of the Little Mermaid would break and she would become foam on the crest of the waves.
The Little Mermaid was afraid of what was spoken by the Sea Witch, butshe accepted the agreement. Then, she drank the potion and met the prince, who was attracted to her beauty and grace despite her being mute and he also liked to see her dance, but he loved another woman.
Very soon it was said that the prince should marry, and that the beautiful daughter of a neighboring king would be his wife, but the prince said to the Little Mermaid that he wouldn’t marry...