Comparison of the Different Versions of LRRH
Two versions of Little Red Riding Hood (LRRH), including the original written by Jacob and Wilhelm Grimm and the retelling by Charles Perrault, focus on similar themes and have a lot in common. However, regardless of the fact that they describe the same story, the authors’ approaches differ.
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In both versions, the Wolf appears to be a horrifying monster who is willing to hurt people. He is an embodiment of a stranger who may turn out to be a wolf in sheep’s clothing and someone whose word cannot be trusted. LRRH is deceived by him because of her childish and naive character, and the authors attract readers’ attention to this situation, pointing out that kids are often too open and communicative and that is why it is vital to ensure that they know how to act in different unexpected situations. In particular, Perrault says: “From this story, one learns that children, especially young lasses, pretty, courteous and well-bred, do very wrong to listen to strangers” (Ashliman).
LRRH’s grandmother is deceived by the Wolf in both versions of the fairy tale, which happens because she is oblivious to the fact that strangers can fool her. It also means that people need to care about their well-being and safety. The woman should be more attentive and conscious about the ways to protect herself. She was not cautious and told the Wolf how to get into her house and that is why she was eaten in both stories: “the wolf pulled the bobbin, and the door opened, and then he immediately fell upon the good woman and ate her up in a moment” and “the wolf pressed the latch, and the door opened. He stepped inside, went straight to the grandmother’s bed, and ate her up” (Ashliman).
It is also interesting that in the Grimms’ version, LRRH and her grandmother received an opportunity to be saved and avoid making the same mistake twice. They were rescued by a hunter and killed another wolf when he tried to deceive them, following the morale of the story. However, Perrault’s version does not provide any second chances and has no happy ending. The Wolf manages to eat both LRRH and her grandmother.
This part of the text proves that the same theme of age and maturation is discussed differently by the authors. While the Brothers Grimm showed that the main female characters became wiser with the course of time, Perrault described his characters as static ones. In his version, they do not develop or become mature. Thus, it can be claimed that the Brothers Grimm and Perrault managed to discuss the same theme and offer the same morale using different approaches.
In this way, there is no doubt that the role of the Wolf in both versions of LRRH is to be a monster who threatens people’s lives and deceives them. Describing him as a source of harm, Perrault says: “who does not know that these gentle wolves are of all such creatures the most dangerous!” (Ashliman). This very characteristic perfectly meets the Tale Type classification 333. Moreover, he has a supernatural power of transformation, which can be proved by the fact that he easily eats a woman without killing her and pulling her into pieces. In addition to that, he turns into the grandmother to reach his goal.
Ashliman, D.L. “Little Red Riding Hood.” University of Pittsburgh. Web.
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