The Three Little Pigs Roald Dahl Analysis

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What does a feminist reading reveal about Dahl’s intentions in “The Three Little Pigs”?

Although feminist theory has been in existence for many years, its exact definition is still debated. However, it is generally agreed that it attempts to discourage existing stereotypes concerning women and deconstructs ideas that they are inferior to men, as well as disproving outdated assumptions to do with gender roles. When this theory is applied to Roald Dahl’s ‘The Three Little Pigs’, the reader can see a different type of woman, who is strong, heroic and independent, in the character or Little Red Riding Hood. Dahl has deliberately merged both of these classic fairy tales together to make a new, modern version, which does not contain stereotypes and outdated views. This contrasts drastically with older stories and fairy tales, such as ‘Cinderella’ or ‘Rapunzel’.

The story begins by portraying some of the male characters (the
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He deliberately presents the reader with the gender stereotype of a gentle and passive woman, to make you assume she is a stereotypical woman, only to surprise you even more later on when Red Riding Hood displays some ‘masculine’ qualities.

Contrasting to his previous characterisation of Red Riding Hood, Dahl proves that he believes that women can do ‘manly’ things just as well as, or better than, men, by making a female character be the hero by slaying the monster, which, in traditional stories, is usually an action which the male characters undertakes. “Once more she hits the vital spot, And kills him with a single shot.”
This quotation implies that women can be much more efficient than men, as Red Riding Hood kills the wolf with only one shot. In addition to this, it proves that women are just as capable as men to do activities and actions, such as shooting, which society has deemed
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