Buffy vs. The Little Mermaid ||>
I was in fourth grade when Disney rocked my world. The Little
Mermaid came out to theaters and I was happily anticipating
the story I had heard all my life: of a little mermaid (nameless)
who had sacrificed her own life for love and was turned into sea
foam. Needless to say, I was surprised at Disney's ending, and
since everything is black and white at fourth grade, Disney was
obviously in the wrong. However, when I tried to tell people the
correct ending, no one believed me. The other kids threw rocks
at me until I shut up (no, not really, but doesn't it make the
story more colorful?). In any event, that was that.
Perhaps because of my silly childhood experience, the original
story of love and self-sacrifice has stuck with me. So when I
watched, fascinated, at the season 5 finale, I thought of the
Little Mermaid. Buffy, who was stripped of her real family (with
her mother dead and her sister not technically real), and with
her strength of no use against a god, must do the only thing left
to her: she must sacrifice her own life to save Dawn and the Scoobies.
Death is her gift, since she killed herself out of love to her
friends, her sister and humanity. The Little Mermaid, taken from
her family under the sea to be put on earth, bereft of her voice
and pained wherever she walks, sacrifices her own life to save
the life of the man she loves. The man who does not love her back.
Death is her gift to him, the love that they could have had, and
to the sea where she was born and to which she returns.
But as similar as these stories seem, the stronger tie is the
theme of heroism and virtue. Neither one of these ladies could
bear to see another human die when they could help it. They had
the courage and strength to do the only thing they could do to
save these people. That is what puts them in that special place
only reserved for heroines.