Changes in Little Red Riding Hood
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Changes in Little Red Riding Hood
In the case book of Little Red Ridding Hood there are four very contrasted versions of the famous fairy tale that change by both the culture and the time period in which they are told in. The impact of the fable changes, whether it is an oral version or a literary version. Most versions were once oral and have been told for centuries in the cultures they came from. Many aspects of the story have been erased or added, but each still has the same common progression of events. Besides the general plot, there is also a definite increase in the violence in which the characters die, yet the show of pain is never an issue. The most interesting and complex versions of the story were written most recently, but all offer their own unique differences.
The first story by Charles Perrault is probably the least descriptive and shortest of all of the versions. The first known recording of this story was a French version that was once oral. Little Red Riding Hood actually wears a little red hood in the story. In the following version by the Grimm’s (“Little Red Cap”), which was supposedly a pure oral tradition but was in fact a combination of many pure versions, Little Red Riding Hood wears a little red cap. Finally in the Delarue and Eberhard versions, she wears no hat or cap at all. Another minuscule change in the tale is what the girl brings to her grandmothers house. First, it is a cake and butter, then a cake and wine, until finally a hot loaf and milk. These differences are probably because of the culture where the stories originated. The use of a cake or hot loaf are commonly seen in French societies, as are the use of butter and wine. In Eberhard’s version, the trip to grandmother’s house is eliminated all together so there is no mention of any baked goods. There is however some other type of food involved.
In every version of the fairy tale the little girl comes across a sort of villain. Usually this is a wolf, but in “Little Red Cap” it is a werewolf, and in Grandaunt Tiger it happens to be an old woman. The original version of the story , “Little Red Riding Hood” is the basis for all of the rest of the versions. The first differences come during the actual journey to the grandmother’s house. The first version has the little girl is walking to her grandmother’s house in the village when on the way she meets a wolf. This wolf finds out which path she is taking and then races to the house on the opposite path and, after devouring the grandmother, gets into bed and awaits the arrival of the little girl. The next variation of the story is in the second version, in which the grandmother lives in the forest “under three big oak trees” (Grimm 9) and instead of walking straight to the house, Little Red Riding Hood gets hoaxed away from the trail by the wolf to pick flowers, which gives the wolf time to get to grandmothers. In the third version of the story there is no exact destination of where the grandmother’s house is, but instead of just calling the trails “paths,” they are the Road of Pins and the Road of Needles. The final story is so different it that gives no mention at all of where the house lies, and there are no roads traveled on that need mentioning. Out of all the stories however, the endings differentiate the most.
There are a few variations to the endings of the stories. The first and most changeable option is whether to let the little girl live or die. Only in the first version does she actually get killed. Then there is the ever changing violence factor. The two literary versions have the least gruesome endings and are the most appropriate for children. The first version, which is the most well known, has Little Red Riding Hood getting eaten by the wolf. That is followed up with a brief “moral of the story” where in Perrault warns little children to stay away from strangers, which would have saved her life.
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Fairy tales, Little Red Riding Hood, Little Red Cap, Charles Perrault, Red Riding Hood, American McGees Grimm, Red Hood, Adaptations of Little Red Riding Hood, Big Bad Wolf
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