Little Red Cap by The Grimm Brothers: Gender in Folk Tales

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Gender plays important and different role in folk tales. They often have distinctive differences between the roles of males and females in society which arises in the story. As the stories were altered little by little as it was passed on from one generation to another, so did the way society treated the respective gender roles at their time-frames. This is very evident in the many different versions of the Little Red Riding Hood tales as the story progresses. After close examination of the folk tales, a lot of connections can be made between the characters and the ideas about gender. In the story Little red cap by the Grimm Brothers, the chain of events that happens in this story tells us something about how the gender roles were thought of during the era it was written in. Let it be how easily Little red cap was manipulated by the wolf to stray away from her path or the grandmother confusing the wolf for her granddaughter and allowing the wolf to enter her house without much resistance, resulting in both of them getting eaten. This portrays that women are thought to be irresponsible or careless. Adding to this, how little red cap was using a red coloured cap which attracts attention especially in a dangerous place like the forest made her an easy target, and showed that she was naive. This idea of a world where women were generally looked down on mainly came about during the period of the industrial revolution, men were the main workforce that supported that the ongoing industrialisation and women were limited to light labour such as housework and taking care of children. This gave the impression that women were incapable of supporting themselves and were reliant on the men of the house. The wolf in this story symbolises cu... ... middle of paper ... ...bzou, while in the story Little red cap, Red cap and her grandmother proceeded in killing another wolf after their encounter with the first one. This shows us that women in this tale grew more experienced over time as they changed their actions against 'wolves' that try to take advantage of them. In addition to this, how red cap and her grandmother managed to survive the wolf'’s onslaught could symbolise that women were given a second chance unlike in the other version. To conclude, in the story by Briffault, despite the fact that women were not viewed upon lowly as in the other version, men were more merciless and cruel. On the other hand, in the folk tale by the Grimm brothers, although men were still manipulative, they were more forgiving and humane also women got more experienced and knew how to prevent men’s desire after the sequence of events that occurred.

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