Little Red Riding Hood

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In Bruno Bettelheim's “Little Red Riding Hood” Bettelheim analyzes both the Grimm brother's and Charles Perrault's version of the classic tale. Bettelheim focused greatly on how children view things in their subconscious mind. In the subconscious mind a child is aware of the mature aspects of life, that an adult already knows. By being subconsciously aware this child is growing up into their surroundings. Bettelheim says “Little Red Cap has to be cut out of the wolf's stomach as if through a Caesarean operation; thus the idea of pregnancy and birth is intimidated. With it, associations of a sexual relation are evoked in the child's unconscious”. When the child reads this part of the story they do not stop and think of giving birth. However,in their subconscious the child is aware that pregnancy does occur. By having the wolf live it it teaching the child not to be afraid of birth as it is often something a young woman will eventually face. When coming across the wolf, Little Red Cap tells the wolf exactly where she is going. Bettelheim says “even a four-year-old cannot help wondering what Little Red Cap is up to when, answering the wolf's question she gives the specific directions on how to get to her grandmother's house”. Even a young child is aware of the fact that this is dumb to give such specific directions to a stranger. Having this in the story though allows the child to use their mind to ask subconsciously ask questions. The child might think to themselves why would Little Red Cap give directions. Little Red Cap is a lot about the wolf being a seducer. Bettelheim says “the story holds a great unconscious attraction to children, and to adults who are vaguely reminded by it of their own childish fascination with sex”. When the child is reading the story they are not consciously thinking about sex, however certain aspects of the story a child may begin to question as the begin to go into puberty. This includes the scene of Little Red Cap getting into bed...
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