Little Red Riding Hood is probably one of the most annotated and analyzed of all the fairy tales, and there are several versions of the tale to study, all with a slight variation in their moral lesson, interpretation and theme surrounding Little Red Riding Hood’s escapade to grandmother’s house. It is most commonly believed that the French author Charles Perrault was the first to publish a written version of this fairy tale in 1697. However, Perrault most likely composed the tale of Little Red Riding Hood from pre-existing folk tales that had been passed down by oral story telling. Over the centuries many other versions of Little Red Riding Hood were published under alternate titles and continue to be shared with generations of both the young and old. No two versions of the Little Red Riding Hood Tale are entirely the same and all have a unique ending, sometimes happy, as in the case of the brothers Grimm’s “Little Red Cap”, and sometimes not, as in Perrault’s “Little Red Riding Hood.” All of the Grimm Brothers’ fairy tales commonly had a happy ending, and in the case of Little Red Cap they added a huntsman to the story who saved Little Red Cap and her grandmother after they had been eaten by the wolf. The Grimm Brothers even included and alternate happy ending in which the grandmother devises a plan to trick and kill the wolf. EXPOUND ON GRIMMS VERSION COMPARTIVLY. Alternatively, in Perrault’s version of Little Red Riding Hood, she is gobbled up by the wolf and never to be heard from again. Perrault’s version of the tale is the one that seems most pervasive throughout the centuries, and although the general moral of the story may seem simple, the complex and sometime convoluted symbolism of Perrault’s “original” version cannot be ignored. As noted by Heidi Anne Heiner in her notes in “Annotations For Little Red Riding Hood”, the color red “is a sexually vibrant and suggestive color…Perrault introduced the color red to the tale when he first wrote it.” Heiner...
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