I was working on yet another Little Mermaid comic and was reminded of the original ending, in which she doesn’t just die -she becomes a “daughter of the air”. Andersen couldn’t leave well alone his tragic endings, which on their own could’ve instilled in the reader a sense of compassion and empathy, a “I will not behave like the people who mistreated the heroine!” sort of thing. No, for their suffering they were always rewarded in the afterlife (see also: Oscar Wilde’s “The Happy Prince”). It always annoyed me that it was a way of having their cake and eat it too, all the while undermining their main point.

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