The Little Mermaid by Hans Christian Andersen
The Little Mermaid is one of my favourite fairy tales by the wonderful Hans Christian Andersen. I have always been interested in his authorship and I spent a year of internship to promote Odense as Hans Christian Andersen’s city and wrote articles about his fairy tales and studied them in detail.
This fairy tale is certainly something else. Everyone who has read it and seen the Disney version will definitely be surprised, or have an even worse reaction seeing the Disney film first and reading the tale. Because it IS different. The Disney film is very bright and happy, whereas Hans Christian Andersen’s original tale is sad and melancholic – it simply tells the story of true love; the love one cannot have.
“She laughed and danced with the thought of death in her heart”.
I love the beautiful descriptions, the language and how the mermaid sacrifices herself in order to be with him. I like the idea that an ancient myth (the idea of mermaids) has been incorporated into a fairy tale from the 1800s. There is something very fascinating about mermaids and her troubles, i.e. she can’t get close to him, because she doesn’t have legs to walk the earth.
“But a mermaid has no tears, and therefore she suffers so much more”.
I can definitely recommend every Hans Christian Andersen-fan to read the original story. There are three options on how you will react to it:
A) You will not like it because it is so different to the Disney version that everyone knows of.
B) You will love the bleak and melancholic atmosphere and be drawn towards it. You will hurt along with the mermaid and feel her troubles of love.
C) You will be completely torn.