“The Background of Fairy Tales stories and their Multiple Versions”
In this essay, I am going to discuss the different versions that writers had written about the famous fairy tale “Little Red Ridding Hood” by Charles Perrault, or sometimes known as “Little Red Cap” by the Grimm Brothers. To start we are going to be arguing a critical essay explaining why fairy tales are created, and what’s the reality behind these stories.
First, according to a critical essay “The trials and tribulations of Little Red Ridding Hood” by Jack Zipes there had been different versions of this famous fairy tale each of them are related to the actual world that we live in. In this critical essay, Zipes talks about the origins of “Little Red Ridding Hood” tale and he also discusses the new version that was updated or recreated by Perrault. As we all know, the character Little Red Ridding Hood has been used to warn kids about the consequences of disobedience or the consequences of talking to strangers. At the beginning of the essay, Zipes says, “Little Red Ridding Hood has never enjoyed an easy life” (P.1). This line grabs my attention because it makes me realize that Little Red Ridding Hood is a character that is meant to reflect the disobedience and its consequences. This girl didn’t have an easy life and she’s never going to get a better one because this world is getting harder, also, I can say that these tales are created to show and teach children about what’s going on around the world, especially to innocent girls because they have to be in guard of wolf/men who want to abuse them.
For example, we all know that in the 21st century, there are many wolves that want to eat innocent girls, but as we know those wolves can be very intelligent and show themselves attractive and gentle, but at the end of the day they will show their sharp teeth to attack their prey. Furthermore, Zipes mentions that Little Red Ridding Hood has suffered abused after abused and that seems to be very suspicious. In my opinion, there is nothing suspicious about it, because that was the way that it was on the past where men abused women just because they thought they were superior to women. However, we know that nowadays it is not like that anymore because women have proclaimed equality between men and women. Therefore, I believe that in the 21st century fairy tales show characters that can take control of dangerous situations without the help of a huntsman, police man etc. In other words, women are more capable to fight for their own safety because they have learned that men are not superior to women.
The social function of “Little Red Ridding Hood” is to teach children how dangerous it could be to talk to strangers, which makes sense because the scenes of this story describe exactly what could happen to them if they disobeyed their parents advices. One interesting fact that we can see in any version of “Little Red Ridding Hood” is that the girl always deceived the wolf and saves herself without the help of her grandma, hunters, police, or father! This means that kids need to learn how to take care of themselves and learn to be independent because there might be occasions where mom or dad are not going to be there to help them. I believe that kids need to grow up with these tales; tales that are appropriate (and by appropriate I mean tales with no sexual content) to their age. Like that they can learn how to become confident and independent.
Now let’s talk about Perrault’s Transformation of the Tale
One important fact that I can mention about Perrault’s transformation of “Little Red Ridding Hood” is that this writer wrote two different versions of the tale (one for children and there is a another one for adults). What I like the most of this fact is that parents can be more confortable that their kids are learning good things from this tale and most importantly, the content is according to their age. For example I can mention a video cartoon that I watched on YouTube entitled “Red Hot Ridding Hood” in which Little Red Ridding Hood is dancing on a bar and is there when the wolf goes crazy about her. In this video the wolf looked and spoke to the girl in a sexual way. As we see, this cartoon should be classified as an adult program and not for children because sexuality is a strong content in this video, even though, it does not show inappropriate images, but the behavior of the characters is not the best for a child to watch.
Therefore, I think that it doesn’t matter how innocent cartoons look, parents should always pay attention on what their kids are watching on TV or on the Internet. In addition, the adult’s version is a good idea of the author, because, young adults can learn from this story too. Some people would say that adults don’t need to learn about those things, but others would say that it is good for adults to read and learn from this kind of stories. I agree with those people because some adults either women or men don’t really know how to behave in an appropriate way or how take care of themselves. Therefore, I believe that adults should learn from fairy tales, because these stories are easier and faster to learn a lesson from (learn their attributes, good manners, and behaviors). But adults are the ones who choose what they want to learn and which character they want to represent in real life. Another quote that I can bring up is when the writer says, “It may take another 200 years for us to undo all lessons Red Ridding Hood, and the wolf as well, were forced to learn”(P.9).
On the one hand, this line is saying that women need to learn how to behave in a way that a real woman should do it. But on the other hand, it is also saying that there are many men who need to learn how to treat and respect women and give them their place as a woman. In the story we see that the wolf is compared as a man and he’s the bad apple of the story/life, but not every man is a bad apple because we saw that in the fairy tale there was a hunter that became the hero of the tale. Therefore I can say that men have the decision if they want to become a hero or they want to be the bad apple of the story.
While I was reading Perrault’s critical version, I learned many things from it, I will point the most relevant and interesting lines that I loved the most. First, he was one of the first writers of children’s books (books that were realistic and related to real life). Secondly, Perrault says, “Accustomed to being the center of attention, Little Red Ridding Hood stops to listen to the wolf and tries and tarries in woods. The child seek to amuse herself, and she ends her shot life by being the object of the wolf’s amusement.” In other words, sometimes women are responsible of men depravation against them because some women try to catch men’s attention by seducing them, but they end up being men’s victims. Just as my mother always says, “if women want to be respected by others, they are the one who have to start respecting themselves first ” I agree with those words, no one will take care and respect women if they don’t start giving themselves the respect they expect to receive from others.