A Postmodern Analysis of the "Little Red Riding Hood" Tale (Mellen Studies in Children's Literature v. 4 illustrated edition)
By: Barbara Smith Chalou (author)Hardback
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Dr. Chalou's study is a qualitative critical analysis of the Little Red Riding Hood tale, from its oral beginnings to the latest contemporary retellings of the 1990's, examining the protagonist's depiction through both text and illustration. The retellings span six decades and are separated into three distinct categories to correspond with particular intellectual movements to which they conform; Traditional, Modern, and Postmodern. One resource to which children might look for role models is in the available literature. Stereotypically sexist depictions of girls and women in literature may serve not only to reinforce sexist attitudes in society, but also to impact the psychological development of females. Little Red Riding Hood is a classic example of a stereotypically sexist depiction of the protagonist, whose traditional portrayal ranges from polite and naive, to carnal and seductive. This study is a qualitative critical analysis of the Little Red Riding Hood tale, from its oral beginnings to the latest contemporary retellings of the 1990's, examining the protagonist's depiction through both text and illustration.
The retellings span six decades and are separated into three distinct categories to correspond with particular intellectual movements to which they conform; Traditional, Modern, and Postmodern. Books which fall into the Traditional category typically have an innocence about them and are written in sugary language. The Modern retellings attempt to break with the traditional versions by updating the story, but the changes are usually superficial ones. The books in the Postmodern category are retellings that make more meaningful changes to the tale by addressing the political implications of the story, taking a critical look at the protagonist's portrayal. This study examines how Little Red Riding Hood's image has changed over time, rather than asking if she has changed. Change is inevitable and not always a forward progression. Change can be a step backward and serve to reaffirm, rather than to dispel sexist stereotypes. When superficial changes to the story are made, depicting the protagonist in contemporary clothing for example, with no regard to her thoughts and actions, the reader receives a mixed message.
CHAPTER 1. INTRODUCTION 1 Statement of Problem 6 Framework for Purpose of Study 6 Purpose and Rationale of Study 7 Definition of Terms 10 Delimitations 13 Methodology 13 2. REVIEW OF THE LITERATURE 15 Introduction 15 Feminist and Psychological Theory 18 Children's Literature: Criteria for Critique 32 Female Child and Adolescent Development 39 Images of Girls and Women in Fairy Tales 41 The Relationship of Female to Other 48 Older Women 51 Folklore Origins: Myth and Folk Tales 52 Conclusion 56 3. METHODOLOGY 58 General Research Model 58 Variables to be Considered 70 Approach 71 Definitions and Criteria 72 4. DATA PRESENTATION AND ANALYSIS 75 Introduction 75 Part I: Historical Overview 75 The Traditional Tale: Oral to Written 76 Images of Women 87 Part II: Critical Analyses 90 Critiques of Modern Day Little Red Riding Hood Tales 91 Little Red Riding Hood 91 Little Red Riding Hood 95 Ruby 96 Little Red Running Shorts 99 Little Red Cowboy Hat 101 Little Red Riding Hood Illustrated 102
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- ID: 9780773469525
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