Retelling the story of the fantasy

Retelling the story of Little Red Riding Hood

Old wine in a new bottle- Part 1

Old wine in a new bottle

We have heard the story The Little Red Riding Hood while growing up. Although the story is still the same, the rewriting from the original version to the newer version of “Wolf” by Francesca Lia Block has resulted in a change of theme i.e., from children’s fantasy to the realism of the world. The original story depicts Red Riding Hood as a naive and vulnerable girl. However, it has changed with Francesca Lia’s representation. It represents the dark and harsh reality of the world by raising several sensitive issues such as sex, drug use, desire, and incest. It addresses race, color, and sexuality.

The new version

In the newer version, the first-person narrative interests teenage readers as the story conveys a desperate need for love. The wolf is like the beast in the story of “Beauty and the Beast” as both are wild and represent malicious characters. They are different in terms of violence. The protagonist in both stories is a girl character. In Angela Carter’s “The Company of Wolves”, these images somehow display gender politics on women. The forest and wolves symbolize real-world society. The association of her red cloak may symbolize blood and availability. Danger and desire are present in the form of men’s (wolves) greed to consume young girls.

Addressing the newness

The horrors of the girl are evident when the forests close upon her like jaws. It symbolizes her fear: unsure of being able to win. At the same time, it is empowering as the girl wins with her new power i.e., sexuality. She overcomes her fear and wins over the wolves. In contrast to the original story, Carter’s story harnesses the idea of raising awareness and dealing with difficulties. The Red Riding Hood’s story theme is different from the original story. For instance, Carter’s story represents a gothic theme as the audience category has shifted.

Redefining the audie

Apart from young audiences, Block wrote for teenagers, while Carter wrote for a young adult audience. The “age” of the girl has increased to create personification. The revisions in the story have empowered Red Riding Hood by enhancing her instinct and identity. Wolf may also signify a patriarchal system of men suppressing women. In a way, it has questioned the male ego because Red Riding Hood is the aggressor now. The fight for equality draws out the archetypes and stereotypes of women. It suggests a wave of empowerment. The girl has become brave and capable enough compared to the traditional story.

Would you like to read this new old story to your kids in the bedtime? Let us know in the comments below.