The story “Little Red-Cap” is a fairy tale of a little girl, who appealed to everyone that happened to see her. The girl was nicknamed little red-cap because she was always spotted wearing a cap that was made of red velvet, which she claimed to have been given to her by her grandmother. The author narrated how little red-cap was sent by her mother to deliver a cake together with a bottle of wine, to her grandmother, who was ill. Before she left to her grandmother’s house, little red-cap’s mother gave her instructions, which she failed to honor. Little red-cap was cornered by a wolf, which managed to locate her grandmother house and ate her. When little red-cap arrived at her grandmother’s cottage, she also became the wolf’s meal. The two were saved from the wolf’s by a hunter, who was concerned about the old lady’s situation. The story offers a lesson that we must be obedient to our parents to evade getting into trouble. The aim of this essay is to offer an analysis of a fairy tale.
This analysis will begin by focusing on the two main character in the story, namely little red-cap and the wolf. Little red-cap is portrayed as a lovely little girl, who, according to the author, was loved by everyone in her community. Although little red-cap is a darling daughter of her mother, obedience is not part of her priorities. Instead of following her mother’s advice, she chose to run off the path after being hoodwinked by the wolf. It was quite weird for little red-cap to show respect to the wolf when it greeted her, as she replied: “Thank you kindly wolf” (para. 5). She depicted her innocence after explaining to the wolf, who was a stranger, the direction to her grandmother’s house. The wolf is described as not only cunning, but also lazy. After eating both grandmother and granddaughter, he fell asleep and forgot to return to the forest. The wolf is also depicted as evil and gluttonous, as he was only contemplating on how to fill his stomach. Thus, the author was able to present the two main characters as opposite of each other.
Another aspect that “Little Red Cap” presented to the readers is imagery. When the wolf asked little red-cap where her grandmother stayed, she replied, “A good quarter of a league farther on in the wood” (para. 5). The statement “Whither away so early, little red-cap” is an imagery as it endeavors to ask indirectly where little red-cap was going that early. The author grabs the attention of the readers through imagery, for instance, when little red-cap asked her grandmother “what big ears you have, what big eyes you have…,” the wolf replied instantly, but did not sound like her grandmother. When the hunter saved red-cap and her grandmother, little red-cap said, “How dark it was inside the wolf” as she expressed her confusion (para. 16). This was imagery because hardly can anyone see anything while inside the stomach. The author used imagery to exaggerate the situation and to make his narration more stimulating to the readers.
The third technique that is portrayed in the story is symbolism, where the girl was nicknamed little red-cap due to wearing a red cap. Red color is utilized symbolically in the story to depict passion for good things. Use of the wolf is symbolic, as it meant to portray bad people who take advantage of the innocent to deceive them. The wolf is also depicted as gluttonous, as it waylaid little red-cap after eating her grandmother. This is portrayed by the statement “What a nice plump mouthful, she will be better to eat than the old woman” (para. 6). The aspect of the wolf wearing grandmother’s cloths is symbolic because it tends to explain to us that we should always be careful when approaching things that appear abnormal, as we may get hurt if we perceive everything the normal way. The author utilized symbolism as a form of comparison between real actions and characters.
The story is suitable for contemporary children to read because it is not complicated and has a smooth flow to enable children to understand it. Children are hooked to the story by the choice of words, as well as simple paragraphs, which are easier to follow. The author connected the story to school-going children when he indicated that “You walk gravely along as if you were going to school, while everything else out here in the wood is merry” (para. 6). The use of quotes and repetitions is a sign of an excellent story-teller, who can excite young children. Additionally, the author uses children and animals as the main characters, which makes children associate themselves with the story. Although what the wolf did to little red-cap and her grandmother could create fear among children, such incidences can teach children to be vigilant of strangers and unfamiliar animals.
The last part of this analysis will consider the themes as presented by the author in the tale. The author strived to illustrate the essence of being obedient to parents throughout the story. Little red-cap’s mother instructed her to “walk nicely and quietly and do not run off the path, or you may fall and break the bottle…” (para. 2). Little red-cap came to understand the importance of being obedient when she failed to remember her mother’s advice. The author also displayed explicitly family relationship where he underlined the love that grandmother had towards little red-cap. Although the author did not manage to portray to the readers the whole family setting, he was able to reveal a family that incorporates grandparents, which is an extended family. An extended family was quite common in ancient communities, where large families lived together and shared responsibilities. The author demonstrated several themes in this story, but the one that stood out is obedience, which teaches children to obey those who give them advice.
In conclusion, I approve this fairy tale because they are vital in deriving moral lessons, particularly to children. Such stories always illustrate rewards for virtuous conducts and punishments for evil acts. The story teaches children to be attentive to their parent’s advice and to act swiftly to internal warnings. The authors portrayed ‘a happy ending’ in “Little Red Cap” when little red-cap and her grandmother cornered the wolf. One may wonder why the wolf never died when the hunter cut its stomach while asleep. The author wanted to demonstrate to children that it is not always dangerous to remove something from the stomach, as babies come from their mothers’ womb alive. However, the end of the story depicts an adventure, as little red-cap and her grandmother cunningly managed to trap the wolf, thus, maybe the title could have been changed into “The Adventure of Little Red Cap.”