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Through the Thorns to True Self

The theme of suffering for the achievement of important goals is inherent to numerous novels, movies, and fairy tales of all time. The current paper compares The Little Mermaid, written by Hans Christian Andersen, and The Devil Wear Prada, directed by David Frankel. From one point of view, these two stories have little in common. Nevertheless, the current essay argues that in both cases, protagonists abandon themselves in exchange for things that deprive them of happiness and cause suffering.

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The movie and the fairy tale are similar in that the main characters sacrificed themselves to achieve a desirable goal that did not bring happiness. In Andersens story, the mermaid gave her voice to the witch in exchange for legs and the chance to be closer to the prince whom she loved (Andersen 574). In the movie, the young journalist Andrea Sachs substituted her true self with the image of a glamorous girl (Frankel). Besides, instead of practicing her writing skills, she became an assistant to Miranda Priestly, the chief editor of a fashion magazine (Frankel). Another feature that unites these two stories is that both ladies became out of touch with people they loved. The little mermaid left her family for the prince, while Andrea substituted her close friends and beloved boyfriend with round-the-clock assistance to her boss (Andersen 575, Frankel). Moreover, neither the fairy tales prince nor the magazines chief editor appreciated their efforts.

Apart from the features mentioned above, it should be noted that the changes in appearance and lifestyle made the protagonists happy for a while. Undoubtedly, the mermaid felt satisfied that she could see the prince, hear his voice, be near him. Andrea, in her turn, also received this essential feeling of being needed. Despite the immense workload, she was pleased to work for Mrs. Priestly because the latter was the most influential person in the world of fashion and could help her in her future career. It might be suggested that the mermaid and Andrea lost themselves in the pursuit of a dream.

Finally, the endings of The Little Mermaid and The Devil Wears Prada have some common features as well. The plot of the movie is less dramatic because Andrea did not kill herself. However, both girls understood that the current circumstances cause pain and do not coincide with their initial expectations. Afterward, they decided to quit living like this, although the mermaid did it more radically. What is more, it seems that both protagonists loved people whom they left. Without any doubt, the love of the mermaid to the prince could not be compared with Andys gratefulness to Miranda. Still, both of them realized that being apart is much better.

In conclusion, it should be noted that the fairy tale and the movie are united by the sufferings that experienced the main characters on the way of their moral growth and search for their place in the world. The heroes’ journey began with the call to adventure and the attempt to change themselves to become suitable for the society they wanted to belong to. Then, they went through trials: they lost their true selves and contacts with the nearest and dearest. Ultimately, they achieved freedom: the mermaid did not suffer from unrequited love, and Andy no longer felt exploited by her chef.

Works Cited

Andersen, Hans Christian. Fairy Tales of Hans Christian Andersen. The Floating Press, 2010.

Frankel, David, director. The Devil Wears Prada. Twentieth Century Fox, 2006.

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