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Little RedRiding Hood Essay Help? i am stuck on how to expand on the idea how 'Big'...

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taylor123786 | Student, Grade 10 | eNotes Newbie

Posted October 10, 2010 at 3:57 AM via web

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Little RedRiding Hood Essay Help?

i am stuck on how to expand on the idea how 'Big' contrasts with 'Little' red riding hood. i am doing a critical essay on this story that my teacher has written and i have to to answer some questions and put it into the essay. but i am stuck and i don't understand how i should word my answer into the essay

please help me thanks!!

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lynnebh | High School Teacher | (Level 3) Senior Educator

Posted October 10, 2010 at 7:48 AM (Answer #2)

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I am not clear on what you are writing about - the fairy tale or something your teacher has written about the fairy tale. Perhaps if you give us more specifics, we could be of more help.

To focus on the aspect of the words "big" and "little" however - have you gone through the story to see where these adjectives are used? You should do so, if you have not already done it. Highlight all instances of the words and then focus on why they have been used accordingly. For example, "little" Red Riding Hood is applied to the girl. Each time she is described almost, the word "little" is used, even when it is not part of her name (i.e., "Once upon a time there lived in a certain village a little country girl"). Also, the red riding cap is "little". The girl is carrying a cake and a "little pot of butter" to her grandmother. With regard to the wolf, when he disguises himself as the grandmother, everything is big - what big eyes you have, what a big nose you have, what big teeth you have! ACK!

In the original fairy tale by Charles Perrault, there is a moral:

Moral: Children, especially attractive, well bred young ladies, should never talk to strangers, for if they should do so, they may well provide dinner for a wolf. I say "wolf," but there are various kinds of wolves. There are also those who are charming, quiet, polite, unassuming, complacent, and sweet, who pursue young women at home and in the streets. And unfortunately, it is these gentle wolves who are the most dangerous ones of all.

So the contrast of "big" versus "little" really applies to "good" vs "evil" and was an attempt to warn women against the advances of men, hence the label "wolf" being applied to aggressive, perhaps dangerous men.  But the dangerous wolf is present in many other fairy tales as well, and "Little Red Riding Hood" has been modified many times over the years, especially with regard to the ending. The story was changed to have a woodcutter come in and kill the wolf, for example, so as not to scare children into thinking that the wolf ate both the grandmother and the little girl. In another version, the hunter kills the wolf and the grandmother and girl pop out of him. In another version, the woodcutter comes to the door and scares the wolf, and the grandmother is really hiding under the bed, etc., etc., etc.

If this does not help you, please repost your question.

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