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Little Red Riding Hood

Here is an example of how these different Resistant Readings can be applied to the fairy tale of Little Red Riding Hood.

Little Red Riding Hood





Children should obey their parents because disobedience is dangerous. It is dangerous to talk to strangers. Females are vulnerable but can rely on men to protect them. Males are rescuers. Males are stronger than females and better able to protect themselves and others.

There female figures fall into 3 clear stereotypes of what a woman should be: Mother is a carer; LRRH is a dutiful daughter; Grandma is a helpless victim.


The male figures are: the wolf – a predator who stalks the female child and the woodcutter – who is the typical male hero, rescuing the damsel.


Women are seen as people who should obey instructions. LRRH is implicitly criticized for disobeying her mother, when she was simply exercising childish curiosity.


Women, especially the young, are seen as prizes who can be taken by force.



LRRH, Grandma and Mother own property and have a comfortable life. The wolf is homeless and hungry.


Because of the women’s unwillingness to share, the wolf attempts to satisfy his hunger by taking what he needs to survive – in this case LRRH.


For breaking the rules of ownership, which only work in favour of the rich, the wolf is brutally murdered by a member of the proletariat (the woodcutter) who has been tricked into thinking that he is on the same side as the capitalist property owners.


Parental authority is reinforced as a way of instilling attitudes of submission to authority to help to preserve the structure of society.

LRRH wears red, symbolizing the suppressed pedophiliac desires of male readers.


She enters a dark forest and gathers flowers, a subconscious expression of sexual desire – deflowering.


The wolf attacking LRRH from the bed is clearly suggestive of rape fantasies.


The woodcutter is a strong male father-figure representing an Electra complex on the part of LRRH, i.e. a sexual desire for her father which is clearly unacceptable and so has to be transferred to other men


The violent death of the wolf reinforces this as the father-figure symbolically emasculates his competitor for the child’s affections.





Readings of Little Red Riding Hood

Image result for little red riding hood resistant

Image result for little red riding hood resistant

Image result for little red riding hood resistant


Sleeping Beauty

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The Legend of Briar Rose

Edward Burne-Jones (1880)

Nursery Rhymes

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Transformed Fairy Tales in our Library