Little Red Riding Hood

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Little Red Cap: A Reflection of the Past All cultures have their folktales. These folktales often reflect the culture's attitudes and beliefs towards important issues. "Little Red Cap"� reveals a time when the modern idea of the family unit was being established. The primary place of a woman was at home. A man was responsible for earning a living outside of his household. Society valued purity and innocence. The gender roles in this world corresponded with their social values. Women and their households needed protecting to preserve their purity and innocence. Men were able to supply this protection because they were more powerful, braver and stronger than their female counterparts. There was also a Christian aspect to this social ordering. Men were spiritual leaders because they were considered to be spiritually superior and more vigilant than women. The Brothers Grimm's version of "Little Red Cap"� reflects the ideologies of the time period in which it was written with respect to social values, gender roles and religious expectations.

Social values are society's position as to what is desirable or undesirable. One of the social values in this folktale is that a woman's place is primarily in the home and a man is to leave the home to earn a living. Little Red Cap leaves her house only to travel to her grandmother's home. She is associated with the household. The wolf is a prowler and the woodcutter is earning a living. They are associated with the outdoors. Another social value that is demonstrated in this folktale is the importance of a girl's purity. Little Red Cap's innocence is symbolic of this purity. The wolf is there to steal it from her. When the wolf says: "How tender and young she"� and "she'll be...

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