Thursday, October 30, 2014

A Dynamic Little Red

Guy & Rodd - #4 http://www.cartoonstock.com/directory/L/Little_red_riding_hood.asp
     While searching for cartoons, I stumbled upon Guy & Rodd's depiction of the common "Little Red Riding Hood" theme that Red is portrayed as an innocent and naive young girl.  On the contrary, this social cartoon works to challenge that of the original Grimm's tale in that Red actually acts on her suspicions.  In the Grimm version, she approaches and holds a conversation with the wolf in the forest because she doesn't know any other way.  After the wolf distracts Red by encouraging her to pick some flowers to take with to her sick grandmother, he runs ahead, swallows the grandmother whole, and then impersonates her.  When she arrives at her grandmother's house, Red enters apprehensively, noting an unusually strange feeling.  However, she squashes these emotions, and continues to her grandmother's bed.  Here, Red finds a version of her grandmother with bigger ears, larger hands, and a huge mouth.  Even though she asks the "grandmother" about the increase in size of the aforementioned body parts, Red does not act on her doubts and no sooner suffers the same fate as that of her grandmother.
     The text of this cartoon most definitely highlights Red's suspicions when it comes to the wolf's impersonation of her grandmother, but it also reveals her to be more of a clever girl.  Her naiveté is rather nonexistent in this interpretation because she points out that it is clear the wolf is just that, a wolf.  By following that with the personal reflection where she states, "I'm not an imbecile", this cartoon is almost poking fun at the Brothers Grimm for creating such a character that was blind to what was right in front of her.  By using such a strong word as "imbecile", Guy & Rodd express their opinion that Red was a stupid young girl who most definitely should have noticed that it was not really her grandmother lying in the bed. 
     I understand that when it comes to fairy tales, events within the story must take place in order to keep the plot moving and ultimately come to the author's desired conclusion in the end.  However, this point sometimes makes it difficult to sit back as the reader and watch a young girl just ignore the blatant signs that a hungry wolf is doing his best to try and eat her.  For these reasons, I like this particular cartoon very much because it changes Red from a immature, passive character to a more intelligent, active female character.  

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