The Pleasure Principle in Perrault's Little Red Riding Hood and Brothers Grimm Little Red Cap

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Sigmund Freud, commonly referred to as "the father of psychoanalysis", is best known for his studies of sexual desire, repression, and the unconscious mind. Freud came to see personality as having three aspects, all of which work together to produce our complex behaviours: the Id (“It”), the Ego (“I”) and the Superego (“Over-I”). His psychoanalytic theories are used today in many different fields, including literature analysis. “Little Red Riding Hood”, written by Perrault in the 17th century, as well as in “The Little Red Cap”, written by the Brothers Grimm in the 19th century, are both famous folktales turned fairy tales about a young girl’s encounter with a cross-dressing wolf. The tale makes the clearest contrast between the safe …show more content…
This shows us that the mother is already aware of Little Red Riding Hood’s curiosity and bad behaviours. She expects her daughter to forget about her sick grandmother and give into her Id, which she does. Little Red Riding Hood has the primitive mind of a baby – all Id -- guided by her needs and feelings. She does not think about the consequences of her actions and follows only one rule: “the pleasure principle”. She does not think about the outcome of her decisions in a world of reality, but instead in her own world ruled by pleasure.
Later on, we are introduced to the wolf, who represents men as a threat to women. The wolf symbolizes a man, who can be a lover, seducer or sexual predator. When Little Red Riding Hood meets the wolf, he wants to eat her but is too afraid to do so in public, for sometimes there are woodcutters watching. He instead approaches the young girl with the intention of seducing her, and she “naively” tells him exactly where she’s going. He then suggests for her to pick some flowers, which she of course does. Not only does she stop to talk to the wolf, but she completely forgets about her sick grandmother as well as her promise to her mother, in order to satisfy her own desires. “Little Red Cap had run after flowers, and did not continue on her way to grandmother's until she had gathered all that she could carry” ( ). Little Red Riding Hood clearly demonstrates the behaviour of an Id driven personality. She is bound up
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