The Beasts of Gender Norms and Conduct Three Versions of Little Red Riding Hood

The stories are similar because all portray a cunning wolf as an antagonist and the little girl as the naïve girl trapped in a vicious world. Differences are made in their endings and characterization of the wolf and the girl because of dissimilar target audiences and writing goals, where Perrault and the Brothers Grimm want to caution girls and young women about sly beasts in the real world, which promote and preserve traditional gender roles and values, while Carter makes these changes to expose girls to their sexuality, so that they can control their desires in contradiction to traditional gender norms.Perrault and Grimm’s stories share the same themes of innocence and deception through the character of the sly wolf that contrasts with the vulnerability of the little girl, and these authors keep the same characters and their personalities because they are essential to driving the lessons of the story. Perrault offers the earliest version of Little Red Riding Hood, where the wolf is the nemesis of good because he is a devious pretender, and Little Red Riding Hood’s fate is the lesson that all young women must understand. He emphasizes the contradiction of physical appearance and attitude between the little country girl, the prettiest creature who was ever seen, but who entertain[ed] herself by gathering nuts, running after butterflies, and gathering bouquets of little flowers, and the cunning wolf with big eyes, ears, legs, and teeth and who uses strategy to eat the girl and her grandmother. These contradictions aim to underscore the lesson that the younger and the more attractive girls are, the more vulnerable they are too sly beasts.