Lori's Book Nook

The Little Mermaid

Posted on: March 29, 2007

How long has it been since you read Hans Christian Andersen’s The Little Mermaid? Disney ruined it by giving it a happy ending, of course.

Reading it now, I realize it must have been years and years and years since I read it…but I did, because I just came to a section that I remember vividly:

At last she reached her fifteenth year. “Well, now, you are grown up,” said the old dowager, her grandmother; “so you must let me adorn you like your other sisters;” and she placed a wreath of white lilies in her hair, and every flower leaf was half a pearl. Then the old lady ordered eight great oysters to attach themselves to the tail of the princess to show her high rank.

“But they hurt me so,” said the little mermaid.

“Pride must suffer pain,” replied the old lady. Oh, how gladly she would have shaken off all this grandeur, and laid aside the heavy wreath! The red flowers in her own garden would have suited her much better, but she could not help herself: so she said, “Farewell,” and rose as lightly as a bubble to the surface of the water.

The eight oysters attached to her tail — Oh, how I felt for her when I was 7! Now, as an adult, I wonder just how aware of the trials and tribulations of women Mr. Andersen was…

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6 Responses to "The Little Mermaid"

I love your website!!!!=)

Disney didnt ruin it. but i still like your web site!

Don’t you love rediscovering the books you read as a child? I’m always looking in secondhand bookstores and garage sales for the ones that are out of print.

I had an acient copy of Grimm Bros. once, including all the tales that got censored out for being too bloodthirsty. I think the Disneyfication of these stories loses them a great deal of their power.

But that’s the way of everything: when you take out the blood and the pain, everything’s just cute, happy shite.

@Kaity
The problem is that for Disney, all stories have to have a happy ending, even if they have to be re-written. Or a Christian focus…like in Hercules, where they mutated the Greek God pantheon to make Hades into a devil-like character.

But thanks for liking my blog. 🙂

@PJ
I’m afraid to actually read some of the books of my childhood — what if they don’t measure up?!? What if Trixie Belden is lame? What if Fabulous Five aren’t so fabulous?

But Paddington Bear is still wonderful.

@Metro
Be nice.
*kiss*

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