Wild Geese vs. the Road Less Traveled

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The short story I chose to write about is “Little Red Riding Hood” written by Catherine Orenstein. Theme is defined as “a representation of the idea behind a story” (Clugston, 2010, sec. 7.1). I would summarize the theme of this story as a lesson learned the hard way in the difference between the right choice and the wrong choice to make. Symbol, character and setting really stand out in my mind when reading “Little Red Riding Hood” and contribute to the feeling I get of the lesson behind the story.

“Symbol is something that has a literal identity but also stands for something else-something that is widely understood and has been developed over a long period of time or by common agreement” (Clugston, 2010, sec. 10.4). In this story, I believe there are a few symbols the author uses to help the reader visualize what she is trying to convey. First of all, Little Red Riding Hood’s coat is red. Red is a symbol of passion. I think of passion in this case is a little girls free spirited, loving, naïve, passionate personality. She sees not harm in talking to the wolf as she is walking through the forest to take food to her sick grandmother. The wolf, to me, in this story symbolizes evil or danger. He wanted to eat Little Red Riding Hood but he didn’t because of the woodcutters that were working in the forest. When I think of a forest, I think of a dark, wooded area with maybe mist or fog blocking clear visibility. Fear, evil and danger are symbols for darkness and isolation and uncertainty are symbols for fog or mist. With this being described, I picture the little girl skipping along in her little red coat, holding the basket for her grandmother entering the dark, scary forest that she has no idea what danger can hold.

“Character is an imaginary person in a story” (Clugston, 2010, sec. 6.2). Little Red Riding Hood is, of course, the main character in this short story. The other characters are the wolf, Little Red Riding Hood’s mother, grandmother...
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