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The Little Mermaid- A Relationship Analysis

The Little Mermaid- A Relationship Analysis

The Little Mermaid is a fantasy and musical movie directed by Marshall (2023) that focuses on the life of Ariel, a mermaid and King Triton’s youngest daughter, who has a desire to experience life out of the ocean and on the land with humans. Ariel’s desire for adventure led her to foster relationships while falling out of others in the process, such as her relationship with the prince and her father, respectively. Consistently, as Ariel embarks on the adventure out of the ocean and onto the land, various relationship concepts, including love, deception, and alienation, are covered in the movie; communication is a vital part of these concepts shown in uniqueness, interdependence, and self-disclosure.

The first communication concept presented in the relationship in the movie is uniqueness. According to Adler et al. (2020), every relationship is different and unique, comprising different customs, given languages, and even given rituals. Uniqueness is shown in several relationships in the movie. First, Ariel’s relationship with her father, King Triton, displays uniqueness in their father-daughter relationship. With Ariel’s defiant nature and her father’s authoritative parenting style, the two constantly argue as King Triton continually tries to reprimand and control Ariel’s defiant nature. King Triton reprimands Ariel for her reckless behavior face-to-face, and he shows his love for his daughter, as his expressions depict worry over her reckless behavior. Additionally, after Ariel is reprimanded by her father, she swims off for some alone time, where she breaks into song to express her desires and beliefs about life on land. Additionally, her swimming away in the middle of a conversation with her father displays her attitude and tolerance towards the unfamiliar culture of the people on land. Her father’s disdain for humans, shown in the way he communicates, also shows his attitude and tolerance for people different from his kind. Subsequently, these differing attitudes and tolerance for humans contribute to the constant conflict between the two. Accordingly, this relationship is unique in that their conversations majorly portray a father-daughter relationship, one where there is love and conflict.

Second, Ariel’s relationship with Flounder displays uniqueness. The two embark on numerous adventures together, and some of them land them in danger. The conversations display their friendship as they constantly make jokes and laugh together. Her relationship with Flounder helps Ariel build her self-concept, influences her self-depiction, and illustrates her impression management. Ariel openly tells Flounder about how she does not understand her father’s perception of humans sharing her perceived self in that she does not see eye to eye with her father, in addition to her desire to live on land and be part of the humans, who are different from her world. Her honesty with Flounder shows how communication contributes to self-disclosure. Also, in their adventures together, Flounder also depicts the self in the timid behaviour displayed by being easily frightened while in the company of Ariel, while depicting a different personality while conversing with King Triton to protect Ariel from being reprimanded. Flounder’s protection of Ariel in front of her father displays his love for her. This relationship, therefore, displays how communication plays a part in impression management.

Third, Ariel’s relationship with Prince Eric displays uniqueness. The prince and Ariel have a romantic relationship that stems from Ariel saving the prince’s life. When Ariel saves the prince from drowning, she sings to him, illustrating care for the prince. After the prince recovers, he commands his subjects to find Ariel for him, using communication to establish power, present himself, and manage his impression. His command shows his care for Ariel; additionally, after Ariel loses her voice to Ursula, she can no longer verbally communicate with others. However, using nonverbal communication, gestures, and facial expressions, she is able to interact with the prince despite their different cultures, fostering their relationship. Their cross-cultural differences did not interfere with verbal and non-verbal communication, as romantic feelings are expressed between the two. Fourth, Ariel’s relationship with Ursula is unique in that Ursula converses with Ariel to deceive her. Using nonverbal codes, including gentle facial expressions and tone of voice, Ursula is able to coarse Ariel into believing she is helping for Ariel’s good, while in fact, she is serving herself by managing the impression she presents. Also, to manage self-disclosure in order to deceive Ariel, Ursula applies alternatives to self-disclosure, including lying to misrepresent herself, thereby depicting her self-serving nature, equivocation to paint King Triton as the villain in the story for his dislike for humans while, in fact, she was the real villain, and hinting; when she tells Ariel she will get her voice back after kissing prince Eric, while she knew it was impossible. All these communication concepts are shown in the uniqueness of the numerous variant relationships that lead to the movie’s relationship concepts, including love and deception.

The second communication concept presented in the relationship in the movie is interdependence. Many interpersonal relationships have connected results to people because they are connected (Adler et al. 2020). The Little Mermaid displays the interdependence of relationships. To begin with, Ariel’s argument with her father leads her to visit Ursula for the realization of her desire to be on land. Despite there being no relationship between Ursula and Ariel before the argument with King Triton, their conversation leaves Ariel susceptible to deception from Ursula, showing the connection in their lives. Additionally, following the deal Ariel had with Ursla, which left her without a voice, King Triton gives up his throne to Ursla to save his daughter. This further shows the interdependence of interpersonal relationships. Had Ursula and King Triton been on good terms, Ursula would not need to approach and converse with Ariel with deception intents, which subsequently affected life in the ocean and on land. Additionally, after Ursula deceives Ariel, she gets a chance to interact with Prince Eric, leading to their love story and the unity between the life of the ocean and that of the land. Therefore, interdependence is illustrated in all relationship concepts of The Little Mermaid.

The third communication concept presented in the relationship in the movie is self-disclosure. The amount a person reveals about themselves in interpersonal or impersonal relationships indicates self-disclosure (Adler et al., 2020). Given that every relationship is unique, people are willing to manage their impressions and how other people perceive them. Considering Ariel, she conceals her identity as a mermaid by appearing to be human due to the legs she obtained through Ursla, and as she converses with Prince Eric, she does not disclose this information, showing self-disclosure. Ursula misrepresents herself, coaxing Ariel to go to her for help; however, Ariel is fearful of Ursula as her body language illustrates fidgeting when she goes to make a deal with Ursula. The first-order realities of Ursla’s residence and the scary creatures present contribute to Ariel’s fearful demeanor. Accordingly, when people interact freely with others, their perceptions change based on the situations they find themselves in. Also, following the conflict between Ariel and King Triton after he learns of her visit to the surface, he causes numerous damages to Ariel’s belongings to remind her he is not only her father but also the King who makes rules that must be followed, thereby showing self-disclosure. Through the numerous interactions and relationships in the movie, self-disclosure, or the lack thereof, is depicted.

Communication could have been improved in many instances in the movie. For instance, when King Triton reprimands Ariel for her adventurous ways, he chooses not to listen to her, which eventually leads to numerous conflicts between them, including alienation, a concept of relationships in the movie. Had he stopped and applied analytical listening to Ariel, their relationship would have been one of trust and well-being because he might have altered his response to her arguments. Additionally, the interdependence of relationships would not have led to harmful effects that endangered people’s lives. On a certain day a couple of years back, a friend was asking for my opinion on what to do to salvage her relationship, which had been deteriorating for several months; given all, she had stated, I realized the issue was not in the couple itself but in the busy life that people lead daily. Using analytical listening, I reached a conclusion that would later salvage that relationship. Consistently, when communicating, listening helps people feel heard, and it becomes beneficial for all participants of interpersonal relationships, strengthening relationships.

The Little Mermaid has captured many relationship concepts despite being a fairytale. Based on the various relationships displayed and the interactions and conversations shared, it is evident that communication is a vital part of daily life. Additionally, there is more to communication than just the words spoken, in addition to how they are spoken and what they reveal or conceal, including the interdependence of relationships, self-disclosure of individuals in relationships, and the uniqueness of the relationships. Numerous conflicts would have been avoided if the characters had communicated better, been honest, and had applied listening skills. All these factors are represented in the alienation, deception, and love concepts of relationships, whether interpersonal or impersonal. Further,


Adler, R. B., B Rosenfeld, L., & F. Proctor II, R. (2020). Interplay: The Process of Interpersonal Communication (15th ed.). Oxford University Press.

Marshall, R. (Director). (2023). The Little Mermaid. Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures.


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Note: Please read the instructions thoroughly before writing. Attached are two examples of what the paper is expected to look like. Also, the link provided is the textbook used for the class. Thank you.
Pls apply the concepts in the attached textbook to the writeup, also view the examples attached. Thank you[%3Bvnd.vst.idref%3Disbn-9780197501344-book-part-1]!/4

The Little Mermaid- A Relationship Analysis

The Little Mermaid- A Relationship Analysis

You will view a movie of your choice and write a 5-6 page, 12-pt Times New Roman or Courier New font, double-spaced typed, detailed paper that applies interpersonal communication concepts learned in the course to situations revealed in the movie. In this paper, you will discuss what you’ve read in your textbook and what we’ve talked about in class in relation to your film. Do not give the story plot, but demonstrate your understanding of interpersonal communication, relationships, and concepts of the film. You will need to refer to situations in the film to guide your discussion of interpersonal theory but realize that I’m looking for an analysis paper of interpersonal communication from the film, not a film review.

The purpose of this assignment is to allow you to identify interpersonal communication concepts and provide a detailed analysis of those concepts and how they are demonstrated in the film. You can also add an analysis of how communication could have been improved and what might have occurred if certain behaviour demonstrated in the film had continued rather than stopped or stopped rather than continued. You are encouraged to concisely apply your own observations of life and situations to your analysis (such as situations that you have observed that are similar as one(s) revealed in the film, the similarities, and differences with the situations, and how they resolved, and the analysis of both situations to the concept/theory you are applying and discussing in that section of the paper).

This paper will be graded on how well it meets the above criteria, editing for direct and in-depth analysis, grammatical accuracy, expression of ideas, and synthesis of the material. The paper must be typed, double-spaced, and no less than 5 full pages (only 1-inch margins on each page).

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