Little Red Riding Hood

The folktale lives on

Why We Chose it

  • Childhood story we heard and loved
  • Popular costume
  • Not as prevalent as fairy tales
  • Wanted to know more about why it was written and what the significance was


The Real Story

Little Red Riding Hood is a classic tale whose original form begins with a country girl, only identified by the red hood she wears, so everyone calls her Little Red Riding Hood. She is the prettiest creature in all of the land and is doted on by her mother, and even more so, her grandmother. One day her mother tells her to take some cakes and butter to her grandmother, who lives in another village, staying on the path and never straying from it. Along the way a wolf emerges from the woods, but she is not scared and ignorantly tells the wolf where she is going and why. Red Riding Hood takes the roundabout way while the wolf takes the short way, beating her there and pretending to be little Red so that he can eat the Grandmother. When the little girl arrives, she believes the wolf, dressed as the grandmother, is in fact her and he then eats her too.


Later Versions:



  • Grimm Brothers Tale includes "Little Red Cap" & has a different ending (Huntsman)
  • Sequel includes another wolf that approaches Little Red Riding Hood but she goes to grandmothers house & the wolf waits on the roof for a surprise attack but he falls off into the trough of water she gets and drowns.



Background & History

  • Earliest version is traced back to France during the 17th century
  • "Le Petit Chaperon Rouge" included in the collection of Tales and Stories of the Past with Morals
  • Charles Perrault in 1967 & 1812 German version by the Grimm Brothers
  • Window intro French Soceity during 16th/17th centuries- witch trials & persecution
  • Red Cloak signified prostitution


Themes

For Children-

  • Not to talk to strangers

  • You should always obey your parents

For Adults-

  • Warns of the danger of conversing with inappropriate suitors, who may mislead such young girls to partake in improper acts of sexuality

  • Gender is a common theme throughout the entire folktale that differentiates the mindsets of men and men as wolves.

  • Most view the wolf as a representation of a sexual predator as he lours Little Red Riding Hood into bed with him and the message becomes clear “that ‘men’ will try to trick unsuspecting women into doing things against their will”


21st Century

21st century:

Many movies and TV shows have been made recently pertaining to the folktale. A few examples:

  • A TV show called “RED” directed by Jorge Jaramillo and Carlo Guillo is recent and gruesomely violent interpretation of this folktale. The story has been altered in ways to fit modern-day animation but it still follows the storyline of a lonely girl in the woods with something lurking around her waiting to deceive the young girl.

  • A film called “Red Riding Hood” directed by Catherine Hardwicke was also made that includes all the same characters with a slightly altered storyline that adds a thriller edge.

  • There are many contemporary feminists in the 21st century who are outraged by the folklore and see this story as a way to express the idea that females are helpless and defenseless and that this was clearly a case of rape. Because of this they have written an entirely new story of the Little Red Riding Hood that excludes any type of text that would come across as demeaning towards women.


Red Riding Hood Movie Trailer Official (HD)