Essay 3

Submitted By eeeisenman
Words: 1612
Pages: 7

Emily Eisenman
ENGL 1102
Topic 3
10 April 2014
The Journey of “Little Red Riding Hood”
Throughout history, the most classical monster movies, fairytales, and comic book heroes and villains have transformed to suit society today. The creators of entertainment in America do not want these legends to be eliminated from peoples’ childhood memories; therefore, they put forth the effort to keep the stories alive. One of the most well-known short stories that has been revised and modified throughout history is “Little Red Riding Hood,” written by Charles Perrault in 1697 (Perrault). The story was originally meant to be read by young children, but in today’s society, people of all ages are still fascinated by the story because of its transformations. There have been other stories created that have the same origin as “Little Red Riding Hood,” but they have been altered so that more people can relate to the message that they are trying to deliver. “Little Red Riding Hood” represents a negative stereotypical way of thinking about women, whereas “The Company of Wolves,” “Red-Handed,” and “The Cycle” represent womens’ dominance in today’s society. Memories of the original “Little Red Riding Hood” have been altered to reflect the meaning of the story today. The first version of the short story consisted of a young innocent girl who meets a wolf that wants to eat her, but the girl is totally unaware of his intentions (Perrault, par. 2). The wolf tricks the little girl to get what he wants from her and ends up eating both the grandmother and the girl (par. 6). “The Company of Wolves,” written by Angela Carter in 1984 delivers the same idea, but a twist is added to the story (Carter 101). The young girl is inexperienced but not innocent. When she meets a handsome woodsman, she also gets tricked because of his charm (106). The woodsman is secretly a wolf. Instead of giving the wolf what he wants, she turns the tables on the wolf by seducing him in order to gain control over him (110). This story displays elements of innocence, sexual desire, and gender that are present in the original tale. Carter takes the audience in directions that they may find uncomfortable, but can relate to. In “Little Red Riding Hood,” the reader can grasp the understanding of how females can be looked down upon because of their naivety and immature actions, as well as lack of instinct, intelligence, and strength. On the other hand, Carter’s story expresses how women can have power, authority, and courageous actions. Carter wrote this story during the time of the Women’s Rights Movement, and thus can be identified throughout the story (110). This reveals how women in today’s society can have all the characteristics of the young woman displayed in the “The Company of Wolves.”
The film, Once Upon a Time’s “Red-Handed,” written by Jane Espenson in 2012 is the more updated version of the original story compared to the two listed previously. The message inside this story also contains a twist of the original version. The woman dressed in red, known as Ruby and Red are both is very courageous, rebellious and intelligent. Ruby and Red represent women in this society that have two personalities, but both work in unity. Instead of the wolf setting out to attack Red and her grandmother, Red is the one who goes out and find him herself. Ruby and Red are both tactful and have well-driven instincts. By the end of the story, it is relieved that Ruby and Red are actually the big bad wolf. The color red in all of the “Little Red Riding Hood” stories represents a protective shield from the wolf, but in this particular version, the red hood is magical and prevents Red from turning into a wolf. The red hood can represent the conscious needed for the women of today to guard against their evil and deceitful tendencies. Ruby and Red give society the notion that men are not the only ones that have an evil side. The moral of the original “Little Red Riding Hood” is that