Little Red Riding Hood:A Freudian Analysis

Topics: Little Red Riding Hood, Sigmund Freud, Fairy tale Pages: 3 (879 words) Published: March 21, 2004
Little Red Riding Hood is a fairy tale that has changed much in its history. Being more commonly known as a fairy tale, it may be considered a children's story, however, it contains in it, themes of sex, violence and cannibalism. It is a multi-voiced, multi-cultural tale that has been told and retold, suffering endless plots, character transformation and reinterpretation.

The psychoanalyst Sigmund Freud created many theories on how people are and why they do the things they do. Freud's three key zones of mental process are the id, the ego and the superego. The id is one of the most important of the three when talking about Little Red Riding Hood by Charles Perrault. It represents part of one's unconscious mind and acts on primitive instinctual urges. The composer is trying to demonstrate that impulsiveness and surrendering to one's basic desires is not always the best way to live life. It illustrates evidence towards underlying sexual motivations and tensions. Thus, a constant interplay between parts of the human psyche is perceived.

The title of the fairytale implies a female subjectivity which is evident in most tales of this genre. Little Red Riding Hood suggests to the responder the social position of the girl through symbolic red clothing, and her name. The Grimm's version of this tale - The Little Red Cap, places its emphasis on the importance of temperament, size and sexuality. This can be clearly seen in the line "Once upon a time there was a sweet little maiden." A level of superficiality is also suggested with the line "Whoever laid eyes upon her could not help but love her," implying that love is strongly influenced by appearance.

The red cape she openly wears is symbolic of her emerging sexuality, being on the verge of puberty. Red, being a colour symbolising violent emotions can also be on of many sexual ones. However, it also demonstrates the dangers during this period. Some versions of Little Red Riding Hood show the cape to be a gift from...
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