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Red Riding Hood

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Charles Perrault’s story, Little Red Ridding Hood, is a cautionary tale about what happens when you speak to strangers, and in this case, a wolf. Perrault’s version however, is quite different than the tale told to young children in America. Although both have the same general plot of a young girl in a red hood going to visit her grandmother’s, the rest is quite different. To start, in the “American version,” Red Ridding Hood is warned by her mother about the dangers of the woods and talking to strangers, but in Perrault’s, the girl is happily sent off with her cake and butter. Later in the story, when the young girl encounters the wolf in the woods, Perrault’s tale describes a scene where Red Ridding Hood tells the wolf where the grandmother lives, and accepts the wolf’s proposal to race there. In the other story, the girl rushes off because she is late, and the wolf beats her there anyway. And finally, the greatest difference between the two, is the ending. One grim, and one happily ever after. Perrault’s story and the American version both note the differences in the grandmother’s teeth compared to the wolf’s that are “better to eat you with”. In the American tale, the girl runs and screams, and is saved by a nearby woodsman who kills the wolf and takes the grandmother out of the stomach—alive. And they live happily ever after. This is not the fate of the poor girl in Perrault’s story who is eaten by the big bad wolf.

There is another adaptation of Little Red Ridding Hood, titled, Little Red Cap. They are essentially the exact same stories, except Little Red Cap involves and ogre and is far more grotesque. In this tale, the ogre eats the grandmother and places her intestine, teeth, jaw muscles, and blood around the house for the child to eventually find and eat. For there to be different adaptations of Little Red Ridding Hood is not uncommon for fairy tales. For example, Cinderella has the Disney adaptation and the Grimm’s Fairy Tales. In Cinderella, when it comes time for the step-sisters to try on the slipper, the Disney story makes it so the girl’s feet simply do not fit. While in the Grimm’s story, “Then her mother gave her a knife and said, cut the toe off, when you are queen you will have no more need to go on foot,” and the other has part of her heel bitten off. Many tales that are considered children stories have more than one version, the original one often more explicit than the others as seen in Little Red Ridding Hood and Cinderella.

Works Cited

"Cinderella." Carnegie Mellon School of Computer Science. N.p., n.d. Web. 18 Apr. 2017.

Guenther, Leanne. "Little Red Riding Hood." The Story of Little Red Riding Hood. N.p., n.d. Web. 18 Apr. 2017.

"Little Red Cap." Little Red Riding Hood and Other Tales of Aarne-Thompson-Uther. N.p., n.d. Web. 18 Apr. 2017.

"Little Red Riding Hood." Little Red Riding Hood and Other Tales of Aarne-Thompson-Uther. N.p., n.d. Web. 18 Apr. 2017.

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