In Charles Perrault’s “Little Red Riding Hood,” I found the most scary theme of the story to be the evil ways people manipulate each other to get what they want. Although this is portrayed in a fictional story, the author is clearly making strong implications of why the art of deception is one of, if not the most powerful weapon someone can have. In the story, the werewolf is able to get what he wants by posing as the grandmother, and despite having very obvious conflicting physical characteristics, he is able to lure in his prey psychologically, by ensuring that he is who he says he is, her grandmother. Being able to slowly get the young girl to let her guard down, the werewolf controls the situation by psychologically dismantling the red flags the young girl may have at first.
“Little Red Riding Hood” is a horrifying tale because of how punishing the end is, where a traditional happily-ever-after conclusion is nowhere to be seen. Although we all hope the girl escapes, the werewolf killing the girl at the end is a much more realistic way to drive the punch line home - life is amoral and unfair. We always hope that good will always prevail over evil, and that senseless violence never goes without being caught.