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Little Red and Big Wolf Edit

The classic fairy tale that we often read or hear as kids has an underlying message that is not so kid-friendly. Although at the end, the tale states that kids should beware of strangers, the folk tale goes beyond that and opens up a world of gender biases. Although it is subtle, Little Red Riding Hood clearly uses werewolves as a way to depict men as predatory animals. Conversely, Little Red Riding Hood is depicted as a naïve and trusting child. She is described as “the prettiest creature who was ever seen” (Perrault). Her beauty and child-innocence could symbolize virginity and purity. The wolf takes advantage of her by deceiving her and she believes him every time. Little Red Riding Hood is a metaphor to women. Women are portrayed as trusting, vulnerable, weak, gullible, and submissive. Little Red Riding Hood goes to pick flowers and lollygags while the wolf eats her grandma, another weak disabled woman. The wolf, on the other hand, is quick to be able to manipulate Little Red and lie to her successfully. This wolf is portrayed as animalistic, slick, evil, and predatory especially of women. The wolf asks Little Red to strip of her clothes and get in bed with him in order to eat her. This alludes to a sexual advance made by wolf on Little Red. At the end, the moral that the author gives states that “it is these gentle wolves who are the most dangerous ones of all” (Perrault). It is very clear that the author is referring to “gentle” men that are dangerous to pretty girls such as Little Red Riding Hood.  Not only does this story make it seem like all women are incapable of protecting themselves, it also makes men seem like fiends who always go out of their way to do women harm. They are symbols of good and evil, much like women and men.

References Edit

"Gender in Little Red Riding Hood of Charles Perrault Essay." Gender in Little Red Riding Hood of Charles Perrault Essay | Bartleby. N.p., n.d. Web. 20 Apr. 2017. <https://www.bartleby.com/essay/Gender-in-Little-Red-Riding-Hood-of-PKCNP7GSTC>.

Kirkman, Heather. Indiana University, n.d. Web. <https://scholarworks.iu.edu/dspace/bitstream/handle/2022/2367/34(1-2)%20142-145.pdf?sequence=1>.

"Vulnerability and Gender Roles in Little Red Riding Hood." English 203, Children's Literature. N.p., 08 Sept. 2011. Web. 20 Apr. 2017.<https://urenglish203.wordpress.com/2011/09/08/vulnerability-and-gender-roles-in-little-red-riding-hood/>.

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