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Little Red Riding Hood: A Comparison of Two Versions - Essay Example

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Little Red Riding Hood: A comparison of two versions Your First Name Your Last Name Date Submitted Little Red Riding Hood: A comparison of two versions Fairytales are often written with the aim of teaching morals to children…
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Download file to see previous pages This paper shall seek to examine the story of Little Red Riding Hood and shall look at two versions. The original story that was written by the French author Charles Perrault and the version written by the British author, Roald Dahl, will be the two versions that are taken into account in this paper. In the original version that was written by Perrault, there is an explicit statement of misogyny where the protagonist is described in terms that are overtly feminine. This turns into a more egalitarian worldview in the story that is written by Dahl. The transformation from “a little village girl, the prettiest that had ever been seen” (Perrault, n.d.) to a child who “whips a pistol from her knickers” (Dahl, n.d.) is that of a helpless girl-child to one that is aware of her own rights as a girl and as a child. The protagonist in the version of Little Red Riding Hood that Dahl writes is able to take care of herself, unlike the naive child who is unaware of the follies of the world and falls prey to the wiles of the wolf. Dahl’s story tackles two of the concerns that anybody from the modern ages may have about a story like Little Red Riding Hood. During the time that Perrault wrote the original version of the story, children were considered to be beings that were nothing better than adults with inferior intelligences. An understanding of the psychology of children had not developed. This lack is evident in the manner in which the figure of the protagonist is portrayed in Perrault’s story. The lack of intelligence that Little Red Riding Hood demonstrates is characteristic of the child characters that are seen in stories of the seventeenth century that take on a didactic function. The girl child experiences a marginalization that has two aspects. Firstly, there is the aspect that has been discussed in this paper that pertains to the lack of a child-specific compendium of knowledge. Secondly, the marginalization that was specific to women was also extended to the girl-child. This is the reason as to why the narrator of the story, while explicating the moral of the story, makes a specific reference to girls. The moral of the story is thus, a much gendered one and has sexual undertones. The wolf can be seen as a symbol of the dangers that a society presents to the women of that society. In Perrault’s version, the advice that is given to women is to avoid such dangers by staying within the boundaries that are drawn for women by the society. As opposed to this, Dahl’s protagonist is able to handle the dangers that society poses to her safety as a woman. The wicked nature of the wolf, a symbol of men who look to take advantage of women in a sexual way, is never critiqued in the original version of the stor ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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