Anne Sexton's Red Riding Hood

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Typically fairy tales are short stories that feature folkloric fantasies that contain explicit moral lessons and unusually happy happy, “fairy tale” endings. Anne Sexton’s poems in Transformations, however challenges the ideology that exist within the classic tales, and adds a pinch of cynicism to them. In doing so, she reinvent these tales, replacing their unvaried traditional message with a fresh more inclusive message. Sexton’s “Red Riding Hood” is one of the many poetic retelling that she makes. In the poem she conveys deceit and defines what a person who deceives is and what they do to innocent gullible people.

Even in the very beginning of her poem, Sexton depicts many kinds of wolfs (deceivers) in different situations. In the first stanza, she depicts a matron, a married middle- aged woman who is essentially dignified is shopping in the supermarket for dog food. But we find out she is “getting ready to meet her lover a mile down Apple Crest Road in the Congregational Church parking lot.” This woman is depicted as a typical respectable woman whom her husband would trust and never think she would be unfaithful. She deceives him by meeting with her love, ironically in church parking lot. In the second stanza, “Two seemingly respectable women” rip off an old lady, by tricking her into believing they would give her money in their envelope if she gave them her envelope. And of coarse “ The two women take the money and disappear.”

Sexton does this because she is trying to show readers the importance of recognizing people who rip-off others to gain personal benefits. The thesis of this poem is that there are many deceivers or people who would tell you the wrong information, and convince you to believe something which is not true with it’s purpose to manipulate and mislead . When Sexton says “The standup comic on the "Tonight" show who imitates the Vice President and cracks up Johnny Carson and delays sleep for millions of bedfellows watching between their...
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