Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Little Red Riding Hood

I'm sure you've noticed that I have a love of Fairytales and often refer to them for various advice and reference. This post is something I would love to take further and by further, I think this would be a wonderful dissertation for when I get to Grad school. That being said, this won't be using academic sources and lots of my own thoughts.

I have been watching the TV show Once Upon a Time and besides it being fantastic and entertaining, I love watching to see how the writers write and rewrite the Fairy Tales they are using. This is the basis of my fascination with Fairytales and why I've been missing my copy of Grimms since I got to Vancouver.

This past Sunday the focus was on "Ruby" in our world or "Red" in Fairytale world. In this version of the tale Red is in love with Peter ("Peter and the Wolf") but Granny is a hardass and won't let them be together, especially during "The Wolf's Time" and is constantly yelling at Red to wear her hood, which as most teenagers do, she rebels against.

So her and Snow White track the wolf during the day so they can kill it while it sleeps and Red will be able to run away with Peter only to discover that the tracks lead to her window! The very window Peter stood under the night before their was a massacre by the wolf.

Red goes to tell Peter that he's the wolf (werewolf) and ties him up with chains and then decides to stay with him all night....not wearing her hood because Snow is wearing it to cover for her.

Granny figures it out and freaks out. Snow doesn't understand until Granny explains that Red is the wolf! The Red Cloak has been enchanted to keep her from turning on the full-moon so they rush to find Red and Peter....but alas, Red has already devoured Peter.

Quite a change from the original right? I'd recount it but most should know the basics and if not click to read a few versions.

So this is what I want to talk about how the story changes due to cultural influences. How the stories evolve and what the folk tales of cultures reflect about that culture.

My quick analysis without any research attached beyond my head knowledge (which we all know is vast and a bit intense) is focused on the sexual aspects of the tale rather than any other focus. Red is known to attract men more than any other colour, yet in the original story the young girl is learning to fear "the wolf" and the sexual advances of the wolf, only to be rescued by another male, warning girls essentially (keep in mind this is a blog so I'm not elaborating) of sex and reminding them of their role in life.

Now in today's televised version the female is told to wear the red hood to keep the wolf away but its when she takes it off that she becomes the wolf...hmm...perhaps commentary on the ever changing sexuality of females and warning men to be careful? It is when she takes the red (known to attract men because they see it as making the wearer more sexually available) cape off that she can pursue and kill those who've hurt her. OR it's a commentary on how females are now taking sex into their own hands and essentially flipping the bird to the old tale. Rewriting it so men are to be warned off of casual and elicit affairs.

They could end up devoured by the wolf.

A gentleman is simply a patient wolf.
                                              -Lana Turner

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