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threshershark (profile) wrote,
on 03-21-08 at 10:37pm
i wrote a paper my freshmen year about mermaids, how they are a sexual metaphor- the fish tail represents sexual purity and what the little mermaid wants metaphorically was to "split her legs", so to speak, for the prince. she is condemed for a premature awaking to romantic love. Hans Christian Andersen was very concerned with this sort of thing, being a closet homosexual who obsessed over stopping himself from masturbating. the image of the mermaid progesses out of ancient myths of sea sirens who were melevolent creatures but you can trace them as a symbol through literature across history; it is interesting to see them become more and more sympathetic creatures until we get the modern disney manifestation.

i do not really like the disney version, in that the story is that, if you really look into it, the creaters present a story of a young girl lying and going behind the back of her family and presenting herself to a much older man for a sexual opportunity, and she is shown to get away with this unharmed. it presents a distorted view of sexuality to other young women, i think. i also don't like anderson's abject fear of sexuality, but disneys open promniscuity is not much better. there needs to be a mermaid myth that presents a happy medium...
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