Welcome to Denmark, birthplace of Hans Christian Andersen, father of the modern fairy tale. As most of us probably know by now, fairy tales can be super dark and morbid, serving as cautionary lessons. If you are ready to know the true tale of The Little Mermaid, read on. (a note that this is a heavily Ellie abridged summary)
Once upon a time, the little mermaid rescues a prince and brought him to shore, where he was found by another girl. This idiot of a prince mistakenly believes this other girl to be his saviour, and falls in love with her. Infatuated and obsessed with the prince, the little mermaid learns that humans have a soul and go to heaven when they die, whereas mermaids live for 300 years, die as sea foam and cease to exist. To obtain an immortal soul, she needs someone to fall in love and marry her, thus merging their soul with her. In desperation for his love and a soul, the little mermaid signs a awful contract with the sea witch, signing away her voice by cutting out her tongue, have her tail feel like a sword splitting it to become legs, have every step feel like stepping on knives, and dying of a broken heart if the prince marries another. When she gets with the prince though, he basically friendzoned her because she couldn't speak. The prince ends up marrying his false saviour, and on the night after the wedding, the little mermaid's sisters came up to the surface, bringing a magic knife for her to stab into his heart to save herself. The little mermaid could not bring herself to kill him, and plunged herself into the sea right before sunrise. Because of her sacrifice, she turns into air, and is given a chance of earning her own soul and entrance into heaven by doing good deeds for 300 years.
The Little Mermaid may have been an allegory for Hans Christian Anderson's unrequited love life, exploring the issues of social class and doomed aspirations.
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