Influence of Chinese Culture on the Interpretation and Acceptance of Andersen’s Fairy Tales: in the Case of The Little Mermaid

Zhang Guolong, Su Tangjun


Andersen’s fairy tales, embraced by Chinese culture, have become a permanent childhood memory of Chinese people in the process of their explanation and acceptance during a hundred years. This article uses The Little Mermaid as an example to study Andersen’s fairy tales, his biography, and the history of Chinese acceptance. It provides a historical survey and elaborates on the Chinese explanation, misreading, and misunderstanding of Andersen’s fairy tales over a hundred years. Moreover, this article argues that there are three influential elements on the interpretation and acceptance of Andersen’s fairy tales in China: the changing understanding of Andersen as an author; the age difference between disparate audiences; and the shifting Chinese social context and cultural needs.

Keywords: Hans Christian Andersen; Andersen’s fairy tales; The Little Mermaid; explanation and acceptance in China; Context of Chinese Culture.

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