okay so this one was a doozy. I went back and re-read Little Red Riding Hood and it was just as odd as I remembered. So I get that this is a metaphor for young girls being preyed upon as they come into puberty. A not so subtle one. And I get that the whole moral is that you should not stray off the path or there will be trouble. But this whole thing just irks the hell out of me.
Why would you let your young daughter go wandering off in the woods in the first place, and if you know that she does silly things and can’t keep her attention on the path….then why send her? And if the grandmother couldn’t come and get her own supplies then she shouldn’t be living alone in the woods. Just saying. And in every version I read, there seems to be a kind of flirtiness and a sort of sly sensuality between Red and the Wolf. They both seem on the creepy side to me.
Yet, this story never seems to go away. It seems to be part of our consciousness. Something about flirting with danger and the wild side of ourselves….maybe……something about I can handle myself if I do get off the path and if I can’t , some guy with an axe will come and save me….maybe. Something about death and rebirth…possibly. Some archetypal images are strong and there’s a good reason I suspect. So I get the strength of this story…it still just irks me…lol
Possibly it irked me the most when I read the ending. After conquering the wolf (he dies),having her grandmother reborn from the wolf’s stomach, and being saved by the woodsman… Red Riding Hood heads home…and she says to her herself, “i should have listened to my mother. I didn’t and that’s what got me into trouble. But at least I never forgot my manners…my “please” and “thank you.” Thank goodness for that right? She never lost her ladylike manners in the midst of bloodshed and mayhem and trauma. ACCKK!! That’s me coughing up a big old red riding hood and the wolf furball.