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Title: The hunter and the wolf : male gender roles in little red riding hood
Authors: Au, Dawn
Keywords: DRNTU::Humanities::Literature::English
Issue Date: 2011
Abstract: Perrault’s appropriation of the Little Red Riding Hood tale, which was originally told by female peasants to socialise their daughters into an exclusively feminine tradition, resulted in a written version incorporating the patriarchal upper class ideology of the French court. By re-envisioning the figure of Little Red Riding Hood as foolish, sinful and warranting punishment for straying off the straight path, Perrault entrenched her in popular culture as a sadomasochistic object on which it is acceptable to enact violence. Young boys reading the story internalize its reductive stereotypes of women, and come to envision there being only two equally reductive roles for themselves: as the wolf, devouring a Little Red Riding Hood whom it is implied has deserved her fate, or as the hunter introduced in the Grimms’ version, needing to rescue a little girl too weak or stupid to fend for herself. In my paper, I intend to examine the ways in which the Little Red Riding Hood tale has changed over time – from the oral folk tale version to Perrault’s and the Grimms’ – and show how the models of masculinity it presents for young boys are harmful, particularly in their effects on perceptions of power relations and violence between the sexes. I will also compare two modern adaptations of the Little Red Riding Hood tale – poet Anne Sexton’s Red Riding Hood and novelist Angela Carter’s The Company of Wolves – and demonstrate how they act to redress the reductive gender stereotypes which the original versions endorse for young boys.
Rights: Nanyang Technological University
Fulltext Permission: restricted
Fulltext Availability: With Fulltext
Appears in Collections:HSS Student Reports (FYP/IA/PA/PI)

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