THEME AND NARRATIVE ELEMENTS IN THE SHORT STORY
DATE DUE, 2012
This analysis is a response to my exploration of the short story Little Red Riding Hood as featured in Journey Into Literature by R.W. Clugston, (2010, Ch. 4.1).
The story is actually an ancient fable told in the oral tradition (basically French folk lore) that was written nearly 315 years ago by a writer named Charles Perrault in Paris. The identity of the original author is unknown, although it has been re-written and re-interpreted many, many times by others all over the world. The most popular version of the piece appeared in Perrault’s collection of fairy tales penned under the pseudonym, Mother Goose. Later in the mid-twentieth century, Walt Disney created an American re-telling of the famous Mother Goose story, but reworked it by adding the character of the Huntsman who intervenes and kills the wolf, saving the girl from the grip of Death.
The reason for its success and worldwide popularity, I believe, lies in the story’s universal themes: a uniquely human expression of the dangerous interaction between good and evil. Culturally, this theme is extremely adaptable, and malleable to suit many peoples’ values.
The story’s narration is done by an omniscient third-person whose voice and tone, in my opinion, reflect a sort of cool distance: a disinterested teller of cautionary tales. For example, the matter-of-fact way the murders are introduced denotes the casual demeanor of the narrator: “The wolf pulled the bobbin, and the door opened, and then he immediately fell upon the good woman and ate her up in a moment,” (Clugston, 2010, ch 4.1). Surely, if the story had been done in the first-person point of view there would have been more passion revealed in the description of the heinous acts perpetrated upon the two innocent victims (Little Red Riding Hood and her sickly grandmother). A human being bearing witness to...
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