ITTLE RED RIDING HOOD (LRRH) is a boastful parody that pokes fun at a culture intent on reinventing language to satisfy its social ideals: the politically correct (pc). To fully understand the humor, the reader must have some comprehension and familiarity with the original story. LRRH has been transformed from the little girl, in the traditional tale, working through the issues of the oedipal complex, to an adult, who approaches the world through a woman’s mind and voice. LRRH is a secure woman who has clear boundaries and ideologies. +I am going to analyze James Finn Garner’s short story, “Little Red Riding Hood”. *I will discuss character, dialogue and symbolism.
I will analyze the characters. Garner has effectively referenced many pc themes with very few characters. The mother is mentioned briefly only in the first paragraph. The actions of her character imply that she feels as though she has raised a confident and competent woman. She sends an unaccompanied LRRH into the dark, scary and unpredictable woods confident that her daughter is capable of dealing with the possible dangers that lie ahead. LRRH is an oxymoronic character. In one sense, she is caring, dutiful and respectful, and at the same time she is a strong feminist, appropriately dressed in red, with very anti-male ideals. She is the Gloria Steinem of the woods. This is most evident when the wood chopper person (log-fuel technician rushes to save her from being eaten by the wolf. She exclaims, “Sexist! Speciesist! How dare you assume that womyn and wolves can’t solve their own problems without a man’s help” (Garner, 1994, p.4). It is clear that LRRH is not going to succumb to the traditional perception of the meek, helpless woman. She is, however, willing to take orders from her mother to take a basket to her grandmother’s. She trekked through the woods to her grandmothers because supposedly, “it helped engender a feeling of community” (Garner, 1994, p.1). I think she
References: Garner, J.F. (1994). Politically Correct Bedtime Stories (1st Ed.). New York: Macmillan Publishing Company