Wanting what you can’t have

I found the story “Russalka” by Joanna Russ to be extremely fascinating. When I was younger The Little Mermaid was my absolute favorite movie and I watched it over and over. Because I am so close to that story I liked the perspective of this version. I feel like sometimes in movie’s they make the endings so unrealistic and happy, given it is a kids movie and it should be happy. In all of these kids stories the “princess” has perfect hair, skin, and usually the perfect ending. However, in a situation like this, most people wouldn’t find a 2nd eyelid, skin in between fingers, and flattened facial features to be very “beautiful.” This story reminds me of how everyone wants what they can’t have whether that be a person, lifestyle, etc. Russalka is just so fascinated by the unknown that she becomes obsessed with figuring it out. Sometimes people like to try and be something they’re not and realize they don’t like who they’ve become. This is shown in the story when Russalka hates all cooked food, and doesn’t like the warmth of the Prince’s skin/body. Most of the time people realize that trying to be someone else doesn’t make them happy, which Russalka realized.

I really enjoyed how different everything in this story was from the original “The Little Mermaid” it really kept my attention and interest. I thought it was interesting that in this version the sea witch tried to explain to Russalka that she wasn’t going to like being a human and that she shouldn’t do it. Also, she didn’t make Russalka have a time limit, or have to pay any price to change. Russalka was also very on her own and very selfish in this version, which Areal was not so much. Changing into a human was a big way for Russalka to define who she is and what she wanted to be, and she realized very fast that her life wasn’t so bad before, and that being a human was not what she had thought. I feel like this is a lesson to appreciate what you have, and that not everything is what it seems to be. She wasted being a princess and having people who loved her because she was too busy being rude to them and wanting to be someone else. People often ignore what they have because they’re so focused on what they wish they had, and typically regret doing so.

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