Little Red Riding Hood

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Q.1 What is the nature and significance of naming in your chosen work?
The story of “Little Red Riding Hood” is more than just a classic children's fairy tale about an encounter with a wolf. The story has been written over numerous ways through different countries and manages to convey a different messages each time. Besides the obvious message of the harms of talking to strangers there are many sexual interpretations in the story as well; the red cloak would suggest that Little Red Riding Hood is no longer a little girl but rather a young woman. It is the story of a sexually adventurous young woman growing into her womanhood.

Naming and symbolism is powerful in this tale, especially around the color red. It is no coincidence the author named the main character Little Red Riding Hood. The color red has many hidden meanings in the story. Cultural Anthropologist Edward Burnett Tylor saw Little Red Riding Hood as a “natural occurring cycle”[1]. The red hood stood as a representation to the sun, and the wolf’s belly as darkness or night. Daytime reigned as Red Riding Hood skipped through the forest and nighttime took over when the wolf “ate her up”. The cycle continued when the hunter “cut open the belly of the sleeping wolf” (Little Red Cap, p. 44); the sun rising.

Other interpretations are typically more closely related to sex mainly due to the ties the color red has to sex. In 17th century France, the classic signal of a prostitute was a red cloak[2] . The story warns of the dangers of getting involved with the sex trade. Another interpretation has to deal with sexual maturity and the red cloak symbolizing the blood of the menstrual cycle. Red Riding Hood could be seen as going through puberty and passing through the “forest” of womanhood, and the wolf symbolizing a male predator[3]. Red has been associated with lust, passion, love, beauty, and desire. The Greeks and Hebrews considered red to be a symbol of love, and even psychological...
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