The Little Mermaid

The essay must analyze the story from one or a combination of the following theoretical frameworks:

1)    Jungian psychological theory
2)    Mythological/Archetypal
3)    Historicism
4)    Feminism
5)    Formalism

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As the word “framework” implies, the theoretical framework you have chosen must frame, or inform, every aspect of your essay. You should have your thesis and theoretical framework written out and in front of you as you write your essay. Every major point that you make must go to establishing your thesis, and therefore must be informed (guided) by your theoretical framework.

Coming up with a thesis statement
1)    Select a recurring archetypal figure, plot element, or motif and examine how it is characterized in the story? Discuss its role in the story and how it expresses a major theme of the story.
2)    What does the story express about the concepts of ‘good’ and ‘evil’ through the role of two important archetypal characters?
3)    Select an important conflict in the story (the real/historical world vs. the fantasy world, good and evil, childhood vs. adulthood, obedience vs. disobedience and rebellion, life and death) and analyze the role of this conflict in a theme related to the hero’s journey.
4)    Examine gender roles expressed in the film and what it says about power relationships; hero/villain, mother/father, child/adult.
5)    What archetypal figures, events or motifs does the film use to express meaning? Choose three and explain their symbolism, role and how they work together to express a theme in the story.
6)    What significant codes and conventions of the fairy tale genre are used in the story? How are they used to symbolically express or subvert conventional themes of the fairy tale?


Your essay must include an introduction, two body paragraphs, and a conclusion.

Your introduction must include
–    a hook and a sentence that explains how it relates to the main topic of the essay
–    the title of the story and a brief summary of the story
–    a thesis statement, the two relevant points (the main ideas developed in the three body paragraphs) that will support the thesis statement and the theoretical framework and concepts that will be used in the analysis.

Two body paragraphs that support the thesis statement (each body paragraph must present two pieces of evidence that support the point made in the paragraph).

Conclusion paragraph which restates the thesis and the main supporting ideas of the essay (in different words)

In text citations using MLA style


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