Little Red Cap Comparative Essay

Topics: Little Red Riding Hood, Fairy tale, Poetry Pages: 3 (1404 words) Published: February 13, 2014
Little Red Cap: Commentary Paper

Little Red Cap is written by Carol Ann Duffy found in a collection of poems that she wrote about the voices of women and the voice they had compared to the voices of their husbands or partners. This poem works well to portray a rather eerie twist on an old fairytale as most of her stories tend to do. First, the title of the poem grabs your attention and reminds you of “Little Red Riding Hood”, a children’s fairy tale surrounding the life of one little girl. This is clever, as it sets the readers mind to thinking about the story, which means that the reader can connect all of the similarities in the poem to the children’s story, for example when the girl said, “What big eyes he had, what teeth!”, referring back to the wolf or antagonist in the story. The poem “Little red cap” is among others where Duffy has based this poem on a fairytale story, in this case little red riding hood. However, this poem has a few differences to the original version of the story. For example, this poem uses imagery to create a sexual feeling, where as the original fairytale was not in any way sexual, but had a more simplistic idea of a good little girl as little red riding hood and a very bad wolf who tricks her. The wolf in this poem is portrayed to the reader as a good character, and Little Red Cap as the sneaky one who appears to know what she is doing in order to get what she wants. In the first stanza of the poem, Duffy starts off with the line “At childhood’s end”. This portrays that childhood is so powerful it has been described as a physical place for the characters. The reader can picture this place clearly because of the way she has continued to describe the “houses petered out into playing fields…till you came at last to the edge of the woods”. This makes the reader think that she is no longer an innocent child, she is now an adult. However, we find out in the second stanza that she is still only 16 which makes us wonder if she is...
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