Psychoanalytic Approach to Little Red Riding Hood

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Psychoanalytic Approach to Little Red Riding Hood

Although there are numerous approaches employed in understanding literature, the psychoanalytic interpretation most significantly attempts to utilize the symbolic mysteries of a work. In exclusive contrast to the formal approach, which focuses entirely on the wording, the fascinating aspect of the psychoanalytic investigation is that it searches for a purpose beyond that which is strictly in the text. By insinuating the existence of innate and hidden motives, it allows for a broad range of abstract and creative possibilities. When applied to Perrault's, "Little Red Riding Hood," it appropriately suggests evidence toward underlying sexual motivations and tensions. Additionally, this analysis unfolds a constant interplay between forces of the human psyche.

Sigmund Freud pioneered the introduction of the psychoanalytical concepts behind his principle theory that all human behavior is primarily motivated by sexuality. Throughout Perrault's version of "Little Red Riding Hood," veiled sexual implications are in abundance. In fact, the moral suggests that the entire purpose of the story is to caution against the "smooth-tongued…dangerous beasts" which like to rob young ladies of their innocence. Likewise, the hungry wolf does not simply eat the grandmother. Instead, Perrault distinctly portrays that before consumption, "he threw himself on the good woman." And furthermore, before digesting the young girl, he invites her into bed. At which point, she "took off her clothes and went to lie down in the bed." After she thoroughly inspects and comments on nearly every aspect of the wolf's "big" body parts, the wolf then "threw himself upon Little Red Riding Hood" to consume ...

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...l, she then goes into the woods to encounter the id. There she disobeys her mother's instructions, and becomes "the poor child." In the moral, these "pretty, nicely brought-up young ladies" turn "foolish" upon talking to strangers. As "elegant" as they were once considered, it is a child's own fault if she leans to far to the irrational id. Furthermore, Freud dramatically insinuates that this struggle can only end in death, which is the exact fate of Little Red Riding Hood.

Despite the fact that the psychoanalytic approach is the most controversial interpretation of literature, it proves to be utterly intriguing. In stories such as this, the sexual undertones are clearly evident, and thus substantiate the intricacies behind the approach. Perhaps it is a bit untraditional. However, this investigation remains both thought provoking and brilliantly compelling.
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