Formalistic Approach to Broumas' Little Red Riding Hood
At first glance, one might think that this particular piece of Broumas' work would be a suitable substitute for Winnie the Pooh while rocking the kids to sleep. However, upon deeper inspection, you would probably think "Oh my God" and thank the heavens above that you didn't just scar your children for life. While not suitable for small children, this piece does lend itself to some rather intense interpretation based on the word choice, repetition, and allusions presented. As the reader begins to analyze the deeper meaning of the poem, a universal voice for women is heard behind the echoes of pain.
The first sentence reveals little but sets the stage for a lot to come. The simple sentence leaves no limit on place or time. This allows the reader to fill in the gaps with their own experiences. From the very beginning, repetition plays an important role. Faint echoes of pain are heard as the words "old" are repeated, hinting to the reader that there may be some emotional point to this.
The second sentence, while graphic in detail, presents a reason for the pain. The birthing experience, however gory and painful, is a unique bonding process that brings mother and daughter together for life. It is the one thing they will always have in common no matter what. However, the daughter does not have a child to share this same experience with. Even though the process is painful, the whole ordeal seems to be envied because of the bond that isn't there. An equation of pain is being revealed and everything past this point should add to it.
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...aughter missed the true meaning of what her mother had been trying to convey. Holding her own femininity safe, she has rendered herself barren, unable to have a daughter of her own not because of infertility but because of fear. Sentence ten and eleven reveal the sad state of confusion the daughter finds herself in. She neither understands what has happened nor does she see a way out of her grandmother's house.
Through the masterful use of words and allusions, Olga Broumas was able to twist the Little Red Riding Hood story into one of her own pain. Using the select words, she was able to create a piece of literature that so many people could relate to. Using the formalistic approach, the deeper meanings of this poem are brought out, analyzed, and understood, bringing a greater appreciation for author's and their works.
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