Themes and Narrative Elements in a Short Story
By Leslie Residor
Introduction to Literature
Instructor: Kayla Ward
July 4th, 2012
Many short stories have been written throughout time. Many are just for entertainment, but many of them are for teaching a lesson. Little Red Riding Hood was written partly to teach a lesson. In France, a girl that loses her virginity is said to have “seen a wolf.” That is what this story is based on. Little Red Riding Hood is about a little girl that runs in to a wolf in the forest as she is on her way to her grandmother’s house. Her grandmother was ill and her mother baked some food to make her feel better, in which Little Red Riding Hood was taking to her grandmother. When she met the wolf, the wolf was thinking he did not want to attack the girl because there were workers in the area and he did not want there to be any witnesses. Therefore, the wolf gained the trust of the little girl in just a short time so he can learn where the grandmother lived. The little girl, being naïve, gave the location of her grandmother’s house to the wolf. The end result was the death of the grandmother and the little girl because the wolf ate both of them.
The theme of a story is the idea behind the story. Every author begins writing a book, article, short story, or whatever because of an idea they had. Every story or piece of literature has a theme to it. The readers, however, may come to a conclusion about the theme that the author never meant. In Little Red Riding Hood, one might come to the conclusion that the theme is to portray the consequences of the loss of one’s virginity at an early age.
“A symbol is something that has a literal identity but also strands for something else,” (Clugston, R., 2010). With the information that was already given about a girl losing their virginity and seeing the wolf, this is the most obvious form of symbolism in the story of the Little Red Riding Hood. In this story, it may be...
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