Comparative essay of little red riding hood

Essay by jasmine26College, UndergraduateA-, April 2004

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Readers understand the warnings of adolescence in Perrault's, France's, and Jordan's version of Little Red Riding Hood

The timeless old tale of a little girl meeting a wolf on her way to granny's house has been passed down through oral tradition from one generation to the next. Little Red Riding Hood has existed for centuries and has even predated the first literary version put forward by Charles Perrault in 1697. Since then, this story is continually being told to children everywhere. We have also seen many film adaptations including Jordan and Carter's controversial "The Company of Wolves." In comparing the sexual and moral aspects of Perrault's "Little Red Riding Hood," France's "The False Grandmother," and Jordan's "The Company of Wolves, readers are left with an understanding that there are many warnings that one should consider when entering adolescence.

Sexuality plays a significant role in many versions of Little Red Riding Hood. There are three types of versions that will be analyzed: an oral story, a written interpretation, and lastly a film adaptation. The first to be analyzed is an oral story. "Oral tradition is the transmission of cultural items from one member of a culture to another, or others. Those items are heard, stored in memory, and when appropriate, recalled at the moment of subsequent transmission." (Rosenberg 31). In France's oral story, there are hints as to the role that sexuality plays. For example, the wolf is presented as a sexual, "wicked" creature:

"'You must be Do come to bed with me. And the girl climbed into bed with the wolf" (Ashlimen 9-10).

Oral stories are intended to be dramatic, told with elaborate physical movements and strong emotions. As such, the storyteller would stress certain parts of this story, particularly the sexual aspect...