Welcome to the second part of the Charles Perrault Review Series.
An eight-part serialised set of reviews of the famous fairy tales by the seventeenth-century French author.
Each week I will upload a review of one of his tales. For an overall introduction, read the first review.
This fairy tale is not suitable for children.
This is the story about a little girl who talked to strangers. A thing any small child is told not to do! Especially if that stranger is also a wolf, an animal known to be evil and to eat people. The wolf asks her where she is going and Little Red Riding-Hood saw no danger in telling him whom she was going to visit. He hurries and arrives there in time to kill her grandmother, put on a set of grandma-clothes and comfortably lie in bed waiting for the girl.
Perrault's version, however, does not include the happy ending in which the hunter kills the wolf, cuts open his stomach and finds granny and the girl alive and well. No wonder, because that is physically impossible! There is simply not enough space. Moreover, getting beyond those teeth would certainly not happen without a scratch let alone the fact that a wolf is no snake and does not extend his jaw to encompass his meal and swallow up his snacks.
Gustave Doré: She was astonished to see
how her grandmother looked.
For those expecting the rather gruesome and incredible rescue scene, too bad. Perrault ends with the death of the grandmother and Little Red Riding Hood. Rude awakening, yes. But it is supposed to teach young children a valuable lesson.
For a version with a happy-end, read the Brothers Grimm's account: Little Red-Cap.
This work is in the public domain and can be read and downloaded for free to read online or on your e-reader or Kindle at Project Gutenberg.
|Original title:||Le Petit Chaperon rouge|
|Edition:||Online at Classics Illustrated|
|Read:||17 - 30 May 2013|
|Amazon USA||Amazon UK|
|Book Depository USA||Book Depository UK|
|Abebooks USA||Abebooks UK|