The Evolution of the Common Fairy Tale Essay

The Evolution of the Common Fairy Tale Essay

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How influential can a little fictional girl be? In the world of fairy tales, there isn’t a girl who has lived a more tragic life than little red riding hood. She may not be a princess, but her story has provided the first step towards modern culture. Born without a name, she holds more symbolism than other princesses among her genre, which results in a sympathetic connection with her audience. Told for centuries, Little Red’s story was first published in 1697 France by Charles Perrault. In summary, “Little Red Riding Hood” is the story of a little girl draped in a red hood delivering food for her sick grandmother. Along the way, the girl meets a wolf. Oblivious to the wolf’s evil intentions, she tells him exactly where she’s going and how to get there. The Wolf arrives at the grandmother’s house and tricks the grandmother into believing her granddaughter is at the door. The wolf swiftly opens the door and eats the grandmother. Little Red Riding Hood arrives much later to be told by the wolf to place the items down and come into bed with him. After the girl proclaimed what big features the wolf had, she was eaten (Perrault). Perrault’s purpose for writing this tale was to warn young women in seventeenth century France about the dangers of new people you meet. Favorably, fairy tales have evolved to accommodate a common society by altering basic morals and traditions. Over hundreds of years, society has helped change gender roles, merge cultures, and strengthen social structure in fairy tales.
Charles Perrault lived in France during the reign of King Louis XIV. Despite being known as “The Sun King”, Louis XIV had a sumptuous lifestyle that threatened the welfare of his people. To accommodate for his luxurious spending, he raised taxe...


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...Trudeau. Vol. 56. Detroit: Gale Group, 2000. Literature Resource Center. Web. 19 May 2014.
Hanks, Carole, and D. T. Hanks, Jr. "Perrault's 'Little Red Riding Hood': Victim of the Revisers." Children's Literature: Annual of the Modern Language Association Seminar on Children's Literature and The Children's Literature Association. Ed. Francelia Butler. Vol. 7. Parousia Press, 1978. 68-77. Rpt. in Children's Literature Review. Ed. Scot Peacock. Vol. 79. Detroit: Gale, 2002. Literature Resource Center. Web. 19 May 2014.

Orenstein, Catherine. Little Red Riding Hood Uncloaked: Sex, Morality, and the Evolution of a Fairy Tale. New York: Basic, 2002.
Grimm, Jacob, and Wilhelm. The Complete Fairy Tales of the Brothers Grimm. Trans. Jack Zipes. New York: Bantam, 1987.
Perrault, Charles. Perrault's Complete Fairy Tales. Trans. A. E. Johnson. Harmondsworth, Eng.: Kestrel, 1962.

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