The Little Mermaid demonstrates a theme of wanting something that you cannot have or is outside of your social status of obtaining. For example, Ariel is a mermaid who will do anything to get legs and be a human. Ariel has a beautiful singing voice that is praised that she takes for granted and trades for a pair of legs and to make the human prince fall in love with her. In real life, people often desire things they don’t have or fantasize about a different life and often neglect to be grateful for the things that they have or should be thankful for. Middle class families and children will dream about growing up and living in a mansion instead of appreciating the home they live in or the hard work that their parents went through to buy the things they have. We see little girls playing with barbies who often are sold with private jets, cruise ships, mansions, beach houses and luxury clothing. This allows children to put themselves in a world different than their own and possibly out of their reach. Ariel is able to change her social class from being a mermaid to a human which gives power to the underdog but is not as common in real life. Status change is not common, but not impossible either. Ariel is also found with a collection of items from the human world that she admires that further enhance her longing to be on land with a set of legs. This compares to contemporary times as people in lower status may have objects and material items that are more expensive or they get a bonus at work allowing them to partake in purchasing items of greater expense, but it is not permanent like Ariel’s initial engagement with the human world.
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