"In Company Of Wolves'

Essay by nikas16High School, 11th grade July 2009

download word file, 4 pages 0.0

Your honor, ladies and gentlemen of the jury, as you are aware we are here today to discuss miss Angela Carters appropriation of the beloved fairytale Little Red Riding Hood titled The Co0mpany of Wolves. I trust that you read the tale as was asked and are as disgusted as I am by the sheer vulgarity of it. Let me first read a short summary to jog your memories.

Angela Carter’s tale, ‘In Company of Wolves’, tells the story of a young girl who flirts with an apparently charming young man whilst wandering through the forest towards her grandmothers house. She meets him again when he arrives at her grandmother’s house before her and kills her grandmother. The girl then seduces the young man, removing and burning his clothes so that he cannot return to his human form. Then they have sex and sleep naked in each others arms.

Now I ask you all openly and with the greatest sincerity, is the story, The Company of Wolves, the tale of a young girl who uses her sexuality and the act of sex itself, the sort of story that you want the children of today learning from? This story has taken the innocent tale of Little Red Riding Hood to a whole new level and this is a level that it did not need to be taken.

When I think of this tale I think of innocent Little Red Riding Hood with her basket of goodies for grandma and then I think of the evil wolf challenging her to go off the path. The wolf wins the battle but in the end loses the war so to speak and the moral that comes out of it is to do what you are told and don’t stray off the path. This tale was originally created to teach young children not to be disobedient before they make a mistake that may cost them. It was effective in sparking a bit of a fear into the children but was still appropriate for the age level.

Miss Carters so called story introduces over detailed images of gore, disturbing and distressing elements of horror, explicit and adult themes, complex language and obviously the elements of sex and references to bestiality that are just too intricate and complex for young children to understand.

These themes that present themselves throughout the text are inconceivable by young children and even if they did understand the complex text and adult themes, it is completely inappropriate for young children.

The sheer violence of the content alone is undoubtedly unsuitable for children that may be introduced to the tale. The description on the second page of the text concerned, where a hunter inhumanly kills a wolf by slitting its throat and cutting off all its paws as a trophy is horrific. This brutal display of violence does not send a good message out to the children of today. The message this rude act sends out is if you have a problem such as a dangerous animal or a problematic individual the best way to deal with it is to murder it, so as to avoid further complications. This obviously is not a view that you want a child to inherit.

Aside form the fact that this bloodshed and slaughter sends out a bad moral message, the visual description created by this act convey disturbing images into the sight of children and could quite possibly cause damage to the tender nature of their minds.

More disturbing themes present themselves through out the narrative which brings me to my main point. The use of sex as a means to pay a way out of being harmed. I do not find the reference to sex itself quite as disturbing as the way it has been used. Yes the use of sex in a children’s tale may seem unnecessary but the fact that is has been used in this way is simply outrageous and has absolutely no place in literature and certainly should not even be distantly referenced in children’s fairy stories.

This vile use of sex serves no purpose except to tell children especially young girls that if you are in a sticky situation, there is always a method of paying your way out of it relatively unharmed. This leaves a bad impression on children and sets a terrible example for kids growing up. Just image for a second that your child that has just began the rough path of puberty has been kidnapped and when she returns, seemingly unharmed, reveals that in order to escape form the clutches of her captor she had interactions of a sexual nature with him. Just image how that would make you feel. You must also realise that at such an age children are easily influenced. In this day and age, this sorry state of affairs could become a very cruel reality and miss Carter’s vile tale is not helping the situation at all.

The defense may tell you that the tale was not intended for children but there is not a person alive that can monitor a child 24 hours a day in order to stop them reading this atrocity. And when they do they will only take bad away form it. They may say that they changed the title in order to distance it from the original fairytale but with such a seemingly innocent title, a child is just as likely to pick it up and read it. These pathetic excuses, ladies and gentleman of the court, are weak attempts to pull the curtain over you eyes and soften the harsh blow that this revolting tale deals out and I pray that you do not fall for the defenses outlandish stories of female assertion and the power of Red Riding Hoods sexuality. These themes are indeed a positive outlook but how anyone is able to extract these themes from an innocent fairy tale is beyond me.

I believe ladies and gentlemen that this tale of blood, gore, sex and murder has betrayed the innocent children of today and that Miss Carter should be punished for this appalling carelessness. Her use of disgusting language and revolting themes coupled with violence and nudity has created a piece that is worthy of nothing more that use as a fire starter.

You honor, the prosecution rests.