The Anatomy of “The Little Mermaid”



Rok publikování 2021
Druh Další prezentace na konferencích
Fakulta / Pracoviště MU

Filozofická fakulta

Popis The aim of this paper is to discuss two modern feminist retellings of “The Little Mermaid”, Theodora Goss’ “Conversations with the Sea Witch” and Laura Lane’s and Ellen Haun’s “The Little Mermaid Gets a Vagina” in terms of how the authors tackle the topic of the main protagonist’s bodily transformation. While the best-known literary version, “The Little Mermaid” by Hans Christian Andersen, follows the mermaid’s attempts to win the love of her prince and consequently get a soul, these two rewritings focus more on the consequences the transformation has on the main protagonist, including the effects of the physiological transformation from a mermaid to human and its effect on the heroine. Goss’ rewriting features the main protagonist as an elderly woman reflecting on her life, including her transformation into a human form. As she explains, having her body magically transformed does not necessarily mean, she can – or knows – how to use a human one and thus left her unable to walk, and for a while, also to talk. Lane’s and Haun’s piece is a parody that focuses on the Sea Witch explaining to the mermaid that legs are not the only thing she will get after the transformation, as it is not possible to give her legs without the rest of the human organs. Although these two rewritings might seem radically different, they both highlight the importance of knowing the consequences of one’s decision and the willingness to accept them.
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