Why Love?

After hearing the stories of Mami Wata and watching the films, The Little Mermaid, and The Shape of Water, I have noticed the common theme of love. First of all, the intro story in the documentary about Mami Wata is told by a male who has this romantic connection with what seems to be a vision of a woman from the sea (Mami Wata). He dreams about her and describes her as beautiful and even when he gets married, he finds Mami Wata more beautiful. In The Little Mermaid, Ariel falls in love with prince Eric and will do anything to be with him including risking her life in order to be a part of the human world. Lastly, in The Shape of Water, Elisa falls in love with the sea creature in the lab and risks her life to save him and have a romantic connection with him. In each of these stories, there is a love connection between the human world and the mermaid or god-like figure world. This makes me question why it is the case that love is a common theme throughout all these mermaid stories we have watched so far. Does this theme have something to do with the fact that mermaids are often portrayed as women?

Mermaids are more commonly portrayed as women who are often sexualized and thought of as objects of love and desire and thus, their status as god-like figures is for the sake of pleasing others. For example, in The Little Mermaid, Ariel is sexualized by her beautiful long hair, big blue eyes, and the purple and pink colors that she often wears. However, I think this common theme of love is due to more than the fact that mermaids are often portrayed as women. For example, In The Shape of Water, the mermaid creature is not a woman yet he is sexualized by his muscular physique and is an object of desire by Elisa. Due to the portrayal of the creature in this film, I would argue that mermaid creatures are portrayed more broadly as objects of desire. This portrayal could be symbolism for the fact that we desire the sea and want to know more about it. Not only that, but it was often men out on ships for long periods of time and to feel less lonely they may have created these stories in which mermaid creatures are sexualized to fulfill their feelings of desire.

3 thoughts on “Why Love?

  1. Hi Sasha, I agree with your thought that these sea creatures are often depicted as desirable commodities. Ariel and the Mami Wata both are seen and described as beautiful and lushes-and we can see from Eliza, that the male sea creature is very desirable as well. I thought your idea of symbolism was really thoughtful as we are always exploring deeper into the sea to unlock all its truths. Also, your idea of men creating sexual fantasies when at seas for long periods of time, was a great possibility as well. However I believe mermaids represent something bigger than a desire, rather a void that fills emptiness.

    Firstly, in The Shape of Water, we see Eliza as a lonely individual who is an outcast to society. She is soft spoken until she meets a male sea creature who makes her feel lively. We can see the transformation of Eliza as she goes from an isolated individual, to a lover. A perfect example is the scene where she “sings” at the dinner table. We don’t see this emotion anywhere else in the movie besides when shes with this sea creature. Secondly, in The Little Mermaid, Ariel fills the void of the prince’s heart by marrying him. Also she fills the void of her fathers heart. The relationship between father and daughter is very powerful because the daughter is always the soft spot of a father. Lastly, the Mami Wata is seen as a gateway to inner peace. When feeling alone or down, the Mami Wata is seen as a comforter to those who seek warming love. People look to the Mami Wata for reasoning and she is praised as a Goddess through myth stories and paintings. To say that these sea creatures represent sexual lust and desire, is to look past their true meanings.

  2. I agree with the overall answer you provide for your argument because I was able to understand the supporting evidence you used. I like the way you used the examples from each film to demonstrate how the sea creatures’ love is a result of being a portrayal of an object of desire. Additionally, I like the connection you make between the sexual desire of the sea creatures to humans wishes to learn more about the sea. Although I agree with your answer I would urge you to elaborate more on your last point in your post. I believe that the significance of the theme of love is a method of comfort each character used to stop feeling the sense of being an outcast.
    In my opinion, I believe that love is the form in which the main characters used to feel connected to someone else. In the film The Shape of Water, Elisa is mute and because of this she is not able to communicate with others, therefore, the viewer can interpret that she looked for comfort with the sea creature because it could not speak as well. Elisa finds a connection with the sea creature because they are both outcasts to the outside world and together they no longer are lonely. In the Little Mermaid, Ariel feels unsatisfied in her home under the water and this leads her to she seek a different life in the land with Prince Eric. Ariel does not feel comfortable and normal around her sisters or her father so instead of feeling lonely she goes out to capture the heart of the Prince. In the short video about Mami Wata, my interpretation is that the man who believes in the spirit of the mermaid has no one else to tell him otherwise. Although I agree with your point that the man has a sexual desire for Mami Wata, I also believe that it is because his mind is clouded with the spirit of Mami Wata. The view learns that even after he gets married he continues to feel love for Mami Wata. This could be interpreted as a sense of loneliness and unsanctification that his current wife cannot fulfill; therefore, his mind is focused on being able to see Mami Wata. My overall point in this comment is to provide a different perspective other than love is just a theme because of sexual desire since it is mostly women. I strongly believe that the theme of alienation plays an important role in why love is a common theme in these three films. Ariel, Elisa and the man all feel like they do not belong. Due to this feeling, they try to connect with others through the strong emotion of love.

  3. يتميّز المكيف المتحرك بإمكانية نقله من مكان لآخر، فهو عبارة عن وحدة واحدة بداخلها جميع المكوّنات الرئيسيّة، ومتصل بها خرطومين الأول يسحب الهواء الساخن الذي يوجد في الغرفة، ومن ثمّ يبرّد في الأجزاء الداخليّة، ثم يُدفع الهواء البارد من خلال الأنبوب الآخر لينشره في أرجاء الغرفة. وبعض أنواع من المكيفات المتحركة مزوّد فقط بخرطوم واحد يقوم بالوظيفتين معًا، ومن أبرز ميزاته أنه سهل التخزين عند عدم الحاجة له، ولكن يعاب عليه الضجيج الذي يصدر عنه، ما يسبب إزعاج للبعض.
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