Monthly Archives: February 2013

Little Red Riding Hood?

This version of Little Red Riding Hood is completely far off from what most people know. I find it rather interesting though. Let’s start off by pulling some similarities and differences from the “traditional” LRRH we know.

  • First off. Little girl, in the woods, heading to her grandmothers house. She stops to pick flowers after meeting a wolf in those woods. She tells the wolf shes heading to grandmothers. After this point, everything is different. As you can see, the wolf does not actually eat the girl or the grandmother. Instead he is in disguise when the girl gets there not so he can eat her, but so he can hide the fact that the grandmother has disappeared in the closet. The wolf and the grandmother run off together to get married.
  • I guess you could say that both have sexuality connections. In this version, the grandmother gets well before little red arrives. In this version, the wolf has a wife and family. In this version, everything seems to be more innocent (or less grotesque if you will).
  • Overall, I found this version of LRRH very satisfying and refreshing. I enjoyed the way the wolf was presented (especially when he was in the car, and the car was “walking”) and I really love the twist that was put on the grandmother. In most little red stories, it is the girl who is meant to “seduce” the wolf. It is interesting that it is the other way around in this portrayal.
  • Walt Disney did a fantastic job on this little sketch!

(By the way, the LRRH sketch ends around 7 mins in.)

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Child Heroes in Fairy Tales

Child Heroes in Fairy TalesAs you might imagine, Fairy Tales are primarily centered on children. Whether they are designed for children, or children are the main characters, children are almost always involved. This week, I read a series of fairy tales (Hansel and Gretel, The Juniper Tree, Molly Whuppie, Little Thumbling, The Rose Tree, and Pippity Pew) that specifically featured Child Heroes. My favorites out of this selection was The Juniper tree and Molly Whuppie. In the Juniper Tree, a stepson is killed by his stepmother (rather brutally I might add) and is buried under a Juniper tree. He is changed by the Juniper tree into a beautiful and large bird. This bird goes around singing the song of his death, and in return gathering “presents” for his family. In the end, he brings his sister red shoes, his father a gold chain, and his stepmother a giant millstone, which he threw on her in order to kill her. Once the stepmother was dead, the family celebrated. The stepson is the one who is considered the hero. This is obvious because everybody loves this bird/stepson and celebrates the fact that it killed the stepmother. Even if I hadn’t assumed that this bird was the stepson (which I imagine the people in the story had not), I’m not sure I would have gone out and celebrat

ed so quickly! In Freud’s point of view, he would probably say that they had already hated/ resented the stepmother for more than just the boy’s death ( for example, the father was told that the son went away,

not that he was murdered by the stepmother) . In the case of Molly Whuppie, the heroism is much more obvious. Molly Whuppie was the youngest child of 6 (Three were abandoned because of famine). Much like in Hansel and Gretel, they were abandoned in the woods. Molly and her sisters came across a house in the woods and knocked on the door. A seemingly nice lady answered, and said that she would recommend they leave, because her husband was mean, and didn’t like company (that was the main gist, go read the story for more!) . Molly and her sisters stay there during the night anyways, and the husband tries to kill them, but Molly saves herself and her sisters through trickery. They escape and go to a kingdom where a king tells Molly that if she returns to the man’s house and steals a variety of things, her and her sisters will get to marry his sons. Molly goes back to the house in the woods three different times, resulting in the death of the man’s children and wife, and the marriage of herself and her sisters. Clearly, Molly is the hero. She has defeated the bad man in more ways than one (inadvertently killing his family and stealing his prized possessions). She has saved her sisters, and she has created a better life for them through her good deeds (well, good deeds according to the kingdom). And she was able to save herself from famine, and death through cleverness and bravery. If you were to ask Freud, he would probably say something along the lines of; Molly was trying to replace her ande her sisters parent figures with herself and that since she was the youngest, she subconsciously felt that she had to do those things to gain acceptance and prove herself as a human being. Overall, these stories were really fantastic, and I really recommend you read them if you haven’t already! What other fairy tales do you know that have Child Heroes in them? Do you find yourself wanting to be like them in any way? Can you use Freud to apply some depth to those stories?

– Meena

What is a Fairy Tale?: How I See it.

What is a Fairy Tale?: How I See it.

Fairy tales are beautiful and sacred things. They can range from being a children’s fantasy to a children’s worst nightmare. They have this inner power to be so diverse, but also so specific. To me, a fairy tale is a way to explore ones inner self. A fairy tale is humanity. A fairy tale is how we really feel. If one were to really decipher the meaning of a fairy tale, It would be best to look at Freud’s show of Id, ego, and superego. In my eyes, a fairy tale is represented by the Id: The most basic desires. For example, in the story The Juniper Tree, the stepmother hates her step-son, so instead of just letting her hate pass, she murders him by chopping off his head with the lid of a heavy trunk. She hated him, and deep down she felt that she should kill him. Instead of having some reasoning (ego or superego), she just did it. If you would want to compare the fairy tale to yourself, you could imagine how you want to react when your significant other cheats on you, or when you get second place in a competition. You end up hating whoever got first, or whoever cheated on you, right? But you don’t just go out and kill them. You say to yourself “No, no, that’s not a good plan”. You have reasoning. Imagine your childhood without these fairy tales. Would you have gained such morals? Would you have noticed the total reaction of your actions? In the story, the murdered child turns into a bird and kills the stepmother with a huge mill stone. This teaches children, that for every bad impulse and action, there will be an equal, if not worse, reaction. In summary, I feel that fairy tales show what is right and wrong through drastic means of story-telling.

Why Folks and Fairy Tales.. ?