Gender Variation In Fairy Tales

955 Words4 Pages
Upon hearing the word fairytale, childhood memories of magical and supernatural dimensions are evoked. It is commonly known that fairytales are the first literary productions that mark the early years and intellectual development of youngsters. Considering this, fairytale authors infuse their works with ethical and ideological undertones to shape their readers’ minds and influence their perceptions of the world. In this context, Perrault’s and Dahl’s renditions of the Little Red Riding Hood tale shed light upon gender-roles and their associated implications. This essay is a humble exploration of the variation in gender-representation in the aforementioned works and their respective functions. Perrault’s work offers an archetypal and patriarchal reading of femininity and gender norms. Little Red Riding Hood is portrayed as a frail and naive character who gets into trouble once she ventures outside the confines of her cloistered, warm home. She is depicted as the foolish female who gives free rein to her whims, disobeys her mother and follows, thoughtlessly , the path that leads to her demise. This is illustrated by the fact that she let herself be tempted by the wolf’s suggestion to wander through the forest and gather flowers while he hurries to devour the grandmother, who is, herself, depicted as sickly, vulnerable and unable to fend for herself.By the…show more content…
Perrault’s didactic tale presents a clear-cut depiction of gender roles which deals with women as vulnerable and irrational victims and portrays males as crafty, powerful manipulators while Dahl’s poem twists the original plot to portray his female character in a new light. Indeed, she is no longer defenceless and witless. Dahl’ s poem calls into question pre-established traditions and encourages readers to break away from the limited options provided by canonical texts, which do not suit the swiftly changing modern
Open Document