Gender Stereotypes In Folk Tales On The Example Of Little Red Riding Hood

Gender Stereotypes play many unique roles in folk tales. They often havedistinct differences between the roles of males and females within society. These stories are altered little by little as they are passed down from one generation to the next, along with the perspective society has on a respective gender role at a given time. This is very evident in the many different versions of Little Red Riding Hood. Specifically, the events that happen in the story Little Red Cap, pages 36 and 37. This passage portrays how gender roles were thought of during this era and showcases how stereotypical gender roles have an effect on one's social, mental, and emotional development.

The stereotypical gender roles depicted in literature have contributed to the destruction of a child’s social development, but more specifically that of young girls. Today, literature is one of the main factors that influence women 's reputation in society. However, the many socially constructed gender roles found in literature inaccurately describes the attributes of females. One major theme depicted throughout the story is the idea that young girls need to be obedient. Little Red Cap, is a tale of a little girl who, on her mother's orders, is traveling through the woods to her grandmother’s house. Already, the readers are confronted with the gender stereotype that young girls must obey their mothers. This story emphasizes that because Little Red wandered off the path, therefore not being obedient, caused her the harm she endured.

Little Red Cap lives in a sheltered world and doesn’t know about the dangers that are really out there in the real world. This journey through the woods expands her mental development as she learns along the way to be wiser when encountering new characters. She is unaware that there are people out in the world that can harm her and others that are very close to her. In the story, she gives exact directions as to where her grandmother lives to the wolf, not knowing he could be a bad person and cause harm.

Little Red Cap hasn’t talked to a lot of people, mainly her grandma and her mom so she is very sheltered when it comes to communication with other people and she thinks that it is okay to tell people she has just met, personal details about her life. When stumbling upon the wolf, she starts talking to him right away, and tells the wolf entirety to much information, instead of just keeping quiet, not talking to strangers and minding her own business. Also with her emotional development, she is in good health and she knows who she is, she knows her close family is and has developed close attachments with mom and grandma. She is also very observant by the way she talks about grandmas’ features with her eyes, ears, hands, and mouth.

It is clear to see that within pages 36 and 37 of Little Red Cap there are stereotypical gender roles that have an effect on Little Red’s social, mental, and emotional development. 

07 July 2022
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