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Little Red Cap: A Reflection of the Past

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Introduction

Little Red Cap: A Reflection of the Past All cultures have their folktales. These folktales often reflect the culture's attitudes and beliefs towards important issues. "Little Red Cap" reveals a time when the modern idea of the family unit was being established. The primary place of a woman was at home. A man was responsible for earning a living outside of his household. Society valued purity and innocence. The gender roles in this world corresponded with their social values. Women and their households needed protecting to preserve their purity and innocence. Men were able to supply this protection because they were more powerful, braver and stronger than their female counterparts. There was also a Christian aspect to this social ordering. Men were spiritual leaders because they were considered to be spiritually superior and more vigilant than women. ...read more.

Middle

it is a depiction of his desire to tarnish Little Red Cap's purity. When the wolf ravishes Little Red Cap, she is ruined. She is dead to this world. The woodcutter arrives to free the grandmother and Little Red Cap from the evil wolf's stomach. This act is symbolic of Little Red Cap's rebirth to innocence. Purity is preserved. Gender roles are what society expects from a person based on their gender. The gender roles of this time period were that women were weak and needed the protection of men. Men were the protectors and providers for the household. Little Red Cap is described as being young and innocent. The wolf, which is male, is a powerful creature, a trait often used to describe men. When Little Red Cap meets up with the wolf she is unaware of his evil reputation. ...read more.

Conclusion

Being of superior mind, the woodcutter surmises that the grandmother is in the wolf's belly. Instead of killing the wolf, the woodcutter opens the creature's belly and rescue Little Red Cap and the grandmother from the "bowels" of hell. He is their savior. The woodcutter represents a Christ-like figure that saves both women from damnation. These are examples of how men were seen as being spiritually superior and more vigilant than women. The establishment of the family unit and the importance of purity are what society valued at the time "Little Red Cap" was written. Gender roles evolved around these social values. A woman's purity and innocence needed the protection of the men in her household. Religious roles based on gender are also established by the idea that men are spiritually superior and more vigilant than women. This tale truly reflects the social values, gender roles and religious considerations of its time. ...read more.

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