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Little Red Riding Hood By Charles Perrault

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Synopsis Edit

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Little Red Riding Hood, or “Le Petit Chaperon Rouge” is a title by French writer Charles Perrault [1], written in 1697 [2]. It is a story about a young girl being deceived and devoured by a wolf. A young girl, known as Little Red Riding Hood, gives a visit to her terminally ill grandmother. On her way to the grandma, she comes across a hungry wolf who would like to eat her, but because of forest cutters nearby, the wolf backs down. Instead, the Wolf strikes a conversation with the Little Red and learns the purpose of her journey. The two agree to give a visit to the grandma, but the Wolf, having planned to get there ahead of the girl, tells her that he would go on a shorter path. Enjoying her surrounding, Little Red takes a long route and pick nuts and flowers in the passing.

At the grandma’s house, the Wolf arrives the earliest. Fallen to the wolf’s trick of disguising as the Little Red, the grandmother opens the door and is slayed in a hungry frenzy. But having been in empty stomach for a few days, the wolf does not satisfy his appetite and waits for the girl's arrival to do the same thing he did to her grandma.

Upon her arrival, the Wolf, faking on the grandma’s voice, gives her instructions to open the door to get inside the house. Little Red Riding Hood finds some unusual physical conditions of her grandmother to be somewhat mysterious, but is very assured of her grandmother’s (the wolf’s) explanations, and is lead to her eventual death when the wolf ate her on the bed.

Analysis of Traditional Werewolf Aspects Edit

In the story "The Little Red Riding Hood" many traditional aspects of werewolves can be seen. Not only do these traditional aspects of werewolf traits can be seen throughout the majority of popular culture surrounding werewolves but they also can be seen in the traditional culture surrounding werewolves. As traditionally described, werewolves have long fangs in order to sing their teeth into their prey.[1] This traditional aspect can be shown in the story "The Little Red Riding Hood" with Little Red Riding Hood stating "Grandmother, what big teeth you have got!"[1] and the werewolf responds by stating "All the better to eat you up with"[1] This common trait of long teeth represent the predatory nature of werewolves, but it also shows an overarching theme within human nature. This natural aspect of the prey and the predator is a notion which has been expressed for thousands of years through popular culture. The longstanding notion that werewolves are prey can be seen as a very common view but recently, werewolves can be seen as friendly beings in current films such as Twilight.

Another of the common traits expressed in "The Little Red Riding Hood" is a representation of how large of legs Red's grandma had. As stated in the story she remarks to her grandmother "Grandmother, what big legs you have!"[2] Not only does this represnt a common physical aspect of werewolves expressing their phenominal strength but also werewolves can be seen as walking on two legs or four legs.[2] These two different representations can be seen throughout popular depictions of werewolves resembling men in films such as Logan in "I Was a Teenage Werewolf"[3]

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Displayed to the right is a humanized form of the "modern day werewolf" as depicted in the 1957 film "I Was A Teenage Werewolf" displaying Troy as a werewolf who walks on two legs. These classic and modern representations of werewolves can show many differences and similarities between modern times and older representations of Werewolves and their progression over time. [3]


Theme Analysis Edit

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This story issues a grim reminder to young women that the outside world is filled with all kinds of dangers, pedophiles and sexual predators alike, lurking around - and it is not wise to fall for a word of a stranger. It is explained that look can be deceiving, and ulterior motives of some men approaching young girls is likened to nature of a werewolf preying on its victims. It also cautions parents of young daughter the uninvited attention their daughters may receive from sexual predators.

In Little Red Riding Hood story, the girl appears as naive during her interaction with the werewolf grandma. It does not seem to cross her mind that the wolf in disguise has unfamiliar voice than her grandmother and thus should be suspected. In a series of events that follow, the girl’s naivety becomes even more apparent when she repeatedly takes at a face value the wolf’s contradictory responses to her questions concerning the unusual physical conditions of her grandma. The writer sets up this whole series of dialogue between the two as a metaphor for a stranger making sexual advances on a vulnerable woman while reassuring the girl that there is nothing to be feared. The pretentious nature of a man hiding behind sexual desires is symbolized by the wolf pretending to be the grandma. So she lets her guard down, and finally falls victim to the werewolf aka the stranger.
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Although this version of the story was written over 300 years ago, the morale of the story remains as relevant in the contemporary era just as before, such that this is one of the parenting topics usually brought up among parents of coming-of-age teenage daughters. A significant proportion of society is still woven with Victorian era ideas of sexuality and gender roles [3]. This story serves as a lesson for young women growing up during and post Victorian era, that a healthy dose of surrounding-awareness and caution is always good [4].

Sources Edit

1 https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Little_Red_Riding_Hood#Charles_Perrault

2 http://www.pitt.edu/~dash/type0333.html#perrault

3 https://www.bl.uk/romantics-and-victorians/articles/victorian-sexualities

4 https://www.bl.uk/romantics-and-victorians/articles/gender-roles-in-the-19th-century

5 https://www.kibin.com/essay-examples/the-story-of-little-red-riding-hood-the-most-sexualized-fairy-tale-character-of-walt-disney-UAqJ6mRu


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