Themes in "Little Red Riding Hood" Tale | Free Essay Example

Themes in “Little Red Riding Hood” Tale

Words: 684
Topic: Literature

Thesis Statement

Despite the fact that Little Red Riding Hood is typically viewed as a children’s story telling about the perils of the phenomenon known as stranger danger, the tale can also be viewed through the prism of transitioning from childhood to adulthood and, therefore, be interpreted as a cautionary tale about sexual relationships and the associated sexual discoveries, as well as the threats that one may face in the process. Particularly, in the context of contemporary relationships, the specified issues may include the threats of sexual predators, stalking, date rape, consent, etc.


The story of Little Red Riding Hood exists in numerous iterations, yet it is mostly known owing to its interpretation by Charles Perrault and the Grimm brothers (Silva 171). The story might seem rather basic, yet it renders a range of issues associated with the transition from childhood to adulthood.

For instance, the red color signifies the threat and fear that may accompany the said experience. Similarly, the hairiness of the wolf, which is often mentioned in the story, can be interpreted as the symbol of maleness and, therefore, the means of juxtaposing the male characteristics of the wolf with the female ones of Little Red Riding Hood, as well as the supposed experience of the wolf with the innocence of the titular character (Silva 175).

Furthermore, the narrative includes the description of the scenes of flower-picking, which can be defined as inherently feminine actions (Silva 178). Therefore, the contrast between femininity and masculinity as it is represented in Western culture can also be viewed as one of the primary themes of the story. It should be borne in mind, though, that the integration of the specified interpretation of the fairytale also includes the predator-victim perspective since it defines male characteristics as intrinsically dangerous ones.

Little Red Riding Hood has many interpretations, yet the one that defines the relationships between its characters as sexualized ones seems to be the closest to the truth. Serving as a cautionary tale about the perils of inappropriate sexual behavior, Little Red Riding Hood is also highly relevant for contemporary culture. It helps children contextualize the phenomenon of stranger danger, as well as shape their further understanding of sex-related issues such as consent, the threat of sexual predators, etc.

Annotated Bibliography

Silva, Francisco Vaz da. “Charles Perrault and the Evolution of ‘Little Red Riding Hood.’” Marvels & Tales, vol. 30, no. 2, 2016, pp. 167-190.

In his article “Charles Perrault and the Evolution of ‘Little Red Riding Hood,’” Francisco Vaz da Silva attempts at addressing the themes and ideas that the story which is traditionally perceived as targeted at children as its key audience renders. The author claims that the specified fairytale incorporates a range of adult themes and serves as a cautionary tale that allows children learn about the threats associated with sexual relationships. Therefore, the author claims that the appreciation for Perrault and the Grimm brothers for rendering an old folk narrative may be somewhat misplaced.

Viewing the existing reiterations of the story from a one-sided perspective and, therefore, interpreting its motifs at their face value would be erroneous according to de Silva. The approach based on the semantic analysis and the further identification of the so-called red threat is crucial to understanding the essence of the message. According to de Silva, Little Red Riding Hood as a narrative serves the purpose of addressing some of the issues associated with sexuality, in general, and sex-related threats, including date rape, stalking, etc., in particular.

Seeing that da Silva uses scholarly sources and a profound theoretical framework to support his argument, his statement can be deemed as valid, and his research can be considered reliable. Similarly, the authority of the paper is rather high given the effective reasoning technique. Finally, the currency of the sources supports the research results. The article helped develop a deep insight into the semantics of Little Red Riding Hood and understand its function as a folk tale. The source can be used in the Research Argument essay as the Stronger Reason since it provides a profound exploration of the problem.

Work Cited

Silva, Francisco Vaz da. “Charles Perrault and the Evolution of ‘Little Red Riding Hood.’” Marvels & Tales, vol. 30, no. 2, 2016, pp. 167-190.