Fairy tales contributes to cultural stability in the society since they implement certain perceptions and ideas of how women are supposed to behave. In most fairy tales, women possess certain virtues which include passivity dependency and self-sacrifice. The role of women is to fulfill the needs of the male figures. It is regrettably to note that women from fairy tales always depends on a man for material possession. The male figure is perceived as a superior being responsible for making decisions in a family setup while the woman is expected to submit to her husband.
Since I was a little child, I loved the story in the little mermaid fairy tale. When the little mermaid was fifteen, she was allowed to swim from the sea and visit the land to observe what goes on in that world (Andersen 4). At that time, the little mermaid met a prince and felt in love. Unfortunately, the decision of the mermaid depended on his father, and she could not easily convince him that she wanted to start a love affair with the prince.
The little mermaid sacrifices all she had and for a man in a bid to woe his love. As the story develops, it is frustrating that this man went ahead to love another woman instead. She undergoes a moment of pain and stress as she thinks about the prince. She was ready to offer anything for love, but she fails to win the battle. Regrettably, at the end of the fairy tale, the little mermaid commits murder as the man of his dreams ends up marrying another woman. The sisters to the little mermaid advised her to take a knife and kill the prince so that she could be allowed to become a mermaid once again. Unfortunately, the little barmaid decides to sacrifice her life instead. The scene depicts how fairy tales were used to serve as propaganda for patriarchal domination. Women were expected to sacrifice their desires and wishes to as to keep the men in the society happy.
The little mermaid tried to overcome gender oppression but later on, it proved futile. Hoping to marry the prince, the little mermaid visits a Sea Witch to transform into a human being. She goes against the wishes of her father and the society in general. The little mermaid fairy tale also illustrates external imbalances in power. From the tale, men are in charge, and their decisions are not in a way influenced by women. Despite the sacrifices that women undergoes, men are only concerned with their motives.
The little mermaid resists the patriarchal values as she is different from other women in the society. The protagonist saves the prince twice in the fairy tale, and this illustrates how special she is. Also, she is the one who makes advances and goes ahead to pursue the prince by herself. In the contemporary world, women waited for men to pursue them a hand in marriage as they could not do it by themselves. The little mermaid was focused on initiating the relationship although her dreams never turned into reality. She opposed the idea of subscribing to the notion that women were weak characters and made decisions that change a lot in her life. She is a fighter and focused in achieving her goals. The story might inspire young girls always to remain strong and independent and always fight for what they believe in life.
Andersen, Hans Christian. The little mermaid. Dramatic Publishing, 1994.