• Introduction
  • Analysis
  • References


661px-George Frederic Watts - Red Riding Hood - Project Gutenberg eText 17395

Red Riding Hood by George Frederic Watts

“Little Red Hat” is a slightly more gruesome tale than the traditional “Little Red Riding Hood” that most people are familiar with in the United States. What is perhaps the most prevalent difference is that this story is free of werewolves and instead, utilizes an ogre. It may be possible that an ogre was used instead of a werewolf is because the tale comes from Italy/Austria where the story was passed down orally before they were collected [3]. "Little Red Hat" is considered as folklore that has cultural significance [5]. This version from 1867 became inspiration for future depictions of "Little Red Riding Hood", especially for the 1957 version, "The Grandmother" where the ogre is swapped out for a wolf [2].


The beginning of "Little Red Hat" is somewhat similar in that the protagonist, a girl, is traveling to see her grandmother and is stopped by an inquisitive antagonist. It should also be noted that the girl is bringing soup to her grandma and not sweets, which is more practical and realistic in Italy and Austria [1]. The antagonist, the ogre, reaches grandma’s house before the girl and then attempts to fool the girl into thinking that he is her grandmother. What makes “Little Red Hat” more disturbing is that not only is the grandmother eaten by the ogre, she is then disemboweled and parts of her body are placed in the cupboard for the girl to later consume [4]. This shows that the girl cannot trust strangers and that by blindly eating the remains of her grandma, she cannot decide what is right or wrong for herself. Afterwards, the ogre demands that the girl take off her clothes to get into the bed with him [4]. This seems to be an example of sexuality and how young females are taken advantage of by these monsters. Finally, the tale ends with the girl questioning the “grandma’s” physical features, which is similar to the current “Little Red Riding Hood”. It could be possible that the ogre could not conceal himself that well and resorts to eating the girl so that she stops asking questions such as “why are your legs so long”? This shows that foolishness leads to punishment [1].


Outside Sources:




Course Citations:

4) [Ashliman, D. L. "Little Red Riding Hood." Little Red Riding Hood. N.p., n.d. Web. 19 Apr. 2017.]

5) [Dr. Caffee. Panopto. “Unit 1 Slidecast”. 2171- Spring 2017 RSSS 315 SP17 101, 16:20-17:00.]

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