How To Desexualize Little Red Riding Hood

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Desexualizing the “Little Red Riding Hood”
One of the fairytales gathered by the Grimm Brothers is Charles Perrault’s “Le Petit
Chaperon Rouge” (Little Red Riding Hood), also known as “Rotkäppchen” (Little Red Cap) in German. While “Le Petit Chaperon Rouge” intended to inform those “well bred and refined” young women to stay away from handsome and charming Wolves, the Grimm Brothers’ “Rotkäppchen”, as part of the Nursery and Household Tales, was appropriated to be more acceptable for its younger readers (13). Apart from the major change to the ending of “Little Red Riding Hood”, nuanced delineations shown in the interaction between Little Red and her mother, in the Wolf’s intention towards the girl, and in the setting of the famous bedside …show more content…

In Perrault’s version, Little Red Riding Hood’s departure was simple: after her mother asked Little Red to bring some food to her sick grandmother, she “left right away for her grandmother’s house” (12). Without questioning or obtaining additional maternal instructions, the Little Red’s “right away” departure portrayed a more mature and independent heroine who knew the purpose of the visit and was trusted by her mother. Whereas in the Grimms’ version, her mother told Little Red Cap to take the food that “will give her [sick grandmother] strength”, “better start now before it gets too hot” and “don’t stray from the path, otherwise you’ll fall and break the glass...”(14). Additional explanation given by the mother served to help Little Red Cap understand the purpose of the visit to her grandmother’s house and the reason for staying on her path. Meanwhile her mother’s cautions insinuate that the mom still feels a need to supervise Little Red, and such uneasiness underscores a younger, more naïve protagonist with less commonsense than Perrault’s heroine, setting a more innocent tone that matches Grimms’ intended younger …show more content…

In both versions, the Wolf lured the girl in some way, but Grimms’ portrait of the seduction was less erotic compared to that of Perrault. After obtaining Little Red grandmother’s address, Perrault’s Wolf initiated a race with Little Red to reach grandmothers house (12). Such “race” with the girl to the house could possibly insinuate the Wolf’s avidity to consume the Little Red Riding Hood. Such eagerness followed by lying in bed and inviting the girl to “climb into bed with me”, along with details like how he “threw himself on” the girl and “gobbled her up” all potentially imply the Wolf’s sexual exploitation of the girl (12). In contrast, Grimms’ Wolf encouraged Little Red Cap to enjoy “the beautiful flowers all sweetly the birds are singing”, and as the girl strayed from her path, the Wolf “went straight to the Grandmother’s house”, ate the grandmother and got ready to eat Little Red (14). Enjoying the natural beauties like flowers, birds and butterflies affect humans emotionally. The Wolf in Grimms’ version used such tactic that appealed to Little Red’s emotions, and without the Wolf’s presence, the allurement does

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