Little Red Riding Hood Uncloaked: Sex, Morality, and the Evolution of a Fairy Tale Hardcover – 12 Aug 2000
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About the Author
Catherine Orenstein is a writer whose work has appeared in the Washington Post, the San Francisco Examiner, Ms., the New York Times Op-Ed page and other publications. She graduated magna cum laude from Harvard University, where the idea for Little Red Riding Hood Uncloaked began as her senior thesis. She lives in New York City. --This text refers to the Paperback edition.
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Top Customer Reviews
It analyses each one divided into topics including Red as a victim, a sex symbol and indeed even a villain and the wolf as a villain and a cross dresser bringing up interesting points about both characters and how the story has developed over the years turning Red from a disobedient child of warning to a brazen sex symbol who wanted the wolf to come to her or was more than capable of dealing with him.
There were many opinions and topics offered in this book, some I had never heard of or considered before, which offered for an enthralling read but there were times when I felt it could have offered more on some topics and less on others for example, when it came to The Company of Wolves and the short stories by Angela Carter it was based on I was really looking forward in the author plunging into the film, really analysing it and going into depth about the three stories, as it was both topics were mentioned by only for a couple of paragraphs, equally Tanith Lee's short story Wolfland was only loosely covered.Read more ›
What do you think of her vision of the various Prince Charmings: necrophilic pedophiles. Pointing out that the prince of Snowwhite falls in love with her after she died and wants to share his life with a corpse, and the prince of Sleeping Beauty falls in love with her comatose body lying in a death-like state. Both ladies underaged.
An other interesting vision is her disagrement with feministes that red riding hood was raped. Yes in our perspective she is. The wolf is a sexual active male as Perault point out and Orenstein confirms with several examples. But rape didn't exist in the days of Perault. It was the father of the girl who was robbed of the chance to arrange a marriage for his daughter and make some fortune out of it.
The book is written with great insight and also humor. Highly recommended!
Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
I like this book because she brings in historical context of this tale. It is amazing how many tales may have originated from the French Court during its heyday. Cinderella, which also started out much differently, Rapunzell, are all noted in this book. I hope the author continues writing about other tales as she did this one. Her style makes it hard to put this one down.
Definitely a fun pop culture read. I might even go so far as to say it's one of the better ones I've gotten my hands on in awhile.
Interestingly enough, there's evidence to show that little red riding hood was widely told and retold in both the east and west with both oriental and European versions.
A good scholar, Orenstein faithfully recounts ten versions of the story as it has been retold in the west over the past three hundred years. Though some forms have been more baudy and violent, throughout Orenstein has seen the story as a sort of potential myth of female empowerment.
As one reads this book, one is reminded of the various versions of the flood story as told and retold through the world's religious traditions. Just as each religion took the story and retold it in its own distinctive fashion, each culture and time has taken the little red riding hood story retelling it in its own distinctive fashion.
In this sense, the retellings say more about the culture or individual doing the talking than they do about any intrinsic pedagogic value the story may have in its own right.
Though like many commentators, Orenstein referenced Joseph Campbell when discussing the imponderables of why certain stories seem to have such pan cultural staying power, it should be noted that great strides have taken place in behavioral psychology in the past fifty years since Campbell's Hero With a Thousand Faces. So, those interested in really learning why certain stories have staying power over others would be wise to consult the works of Pascal Boyer.
For her part though, Orenstein has produced a great book that essentially tells the story by letting the story speak for itself.
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