In this essay, I examine what Zipes means by institutionalised, define what makes a fairy tale and evaluate how different versions of Little Red Riding Hood reflect the social ideology of the period.
Zipes is not using ‘institutionalised’ in the traditional, negative sense of being rigid and never evolving. He theorises that fairy tales have become part of the social psyche. They permeate into every aspect of the social unconscious to become meme, examples of which are ‘tunes, ideas and catchphrases’ (Montgomery, 2009, p. 46). Zipes proposes that this meme is similar to a virus mutating and evolving with each generation. Each generation’s variation reflects their ideas and concepts regarding universal aspects of human existence like…show more content… The loss of virtue was equal to death both socially and spiritually. Reflecting the puritan view that children were inherently sinful and should spend time praying not playing (Furniss, 2010). There are symbolic references throughout the story to sin. The red hood symbolising loss of virginity, menstruation and worn by the immoral. The girl wanders off and enjoys chasing butterflies hence playing. Her silent acquiesce to the wolf’s bet. The wolf used as a metaphor for a sexually predatory man and the idea of loss of virginity coupled with ‘le petite mort’. Along with the satirical style suggests an adult audience although read by children (Grenby, 2009).
In Grimm’s version, a huntsman rescues the consumed girl and her grandmother. They fill the wolf’s stomach with stones and he dies. Instead of a moral, there is another story. The girl meets a different wolf and remembers to go straight to grandmothers and together they trick and kill the wolf. There are still traces of a sexual nature in the story but the emphasis has moved to learning obedience and that lessons learnt have their rewards. The tale deals with ideas of childhood and social obligation, namely familial relationships, innocence of the child promoted by the romantic view of children as spiritual beings closer to God and the need for the instruction of children.
There are strong familial relationships in this version with the presentation of a handmade velvet cap, which is a high