In his story Little Red Riding Hood, Charles Perrault introduces the concept of being wary of strangers to his young audience. The story begins with a little girl getting instructions from her mother to take some bread and butter to her ailing grandmother. Shortly after her journey to her grandmother's cottage, the little girl comes in contact with a wolf. She engages in conversation with the wolf, informing him of her destination and the whereabouts of her grandmother. The wolf, being a cunning and malicious character, quickly goes off to eat the grandmother and wait for Little Red Riding Hood. Eventually, the little girl arrives at her grandmother's only to be taken advantage of and eaten by the wolf.
On a different note, in order to understand how this fairy tale was capable of assisting children with the issues of growing up during the time, one must first note children's circumstances in the 17th century. First, children were not viewed as having any special needs and therefore there was no established system of education for these children. Consequently there were no books written specifically for them. Eventually, fairy tales evolved as a means of educating children. Little Red Riding Hood was directed at young girls of the time. These young ladies were always taught to be beautiful, hard working, obedient, and silent. In turn, the idealized female of high society is also well-mannered and graceful. Little Red was clearly beautiful, considering she was incessantly doted upon by her mother and grandmother. Little Red was instructed to stay on the path, not talk to strangers, and bring her ailing grandmother the cakes; she wandered off the path, talked to the wolf, and as a consequence caused the death of her grandmother and herself. Consequently, these aspects of the story help to establish the need for obedience in a child's life, as well as establishing the concept of strangers being dangerous. These are both familial and social problems children often...
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