“Little Red Riding Hood- Bettelheim’s Analysis Summarized”.(1) ; “The Effects Of Classic Fairy Tales”.(2) ; “Little Red Riding Hood, From Vikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia”(3)
Little Red Riding Hood, Bruno Bettelheim’s Phychological Analysis:
Little Red Riding Hood is a fairy tale which has several versions. However, Bruno Bettelheim in his book The Uses Of Enchantment, where he shapes a phychoanalitical look, will be based on two authors mainly, Charles Perrault and the German brothers Jacob and Wilhelm Grimm. The main difference resides in the way the endings are told: on one hand , Perrault finishes the story when Little Red Riding Hood arrives her grandmother's home and, after an answer- question conversation between the girl and the wolf, she goes to bed next to the animal and it eats her whereas Grimm's brothers tell us a more modernized and known close: she enters the house, makes the questions, the wolf jumps out of bed and swallows her as well as he had eaten her grand mum before she got into the bedroom; the wolf falls asleep and after his nap a hunter kills him and rescues Little Red Riding Hood and her grandmother from the wolf belly.
So, after an intensive analysis, Bettelheim's conclusions are:
§ The litlle girl is not that innocent , instead she represents the constitution of premature sexuality, for example,when the wolf(which embodies the father's figure) eats her because she, unconsciously, wants the wolf seduces her, and so it does.
§ The fact that the wolf eats her grandmother(=mother )means that the little girl wishes her mother would not exist so as to have her father only for her.
§ The hunter also symbolises the father when he cuts the wolf belly, in the sense that he is closely involved in the pregnancy and “rebirth” of the child.
§ The red colour has to do with her unconscious sexual desires
§ The hood, a present from her granny that comprises the sexual attractiveness inherited from an old woman
There are other interpretations as from this fairy tale:
-The opening “Once upon a time”, as Bettelheim proposes “this deliberate vagueness in the beginning of fairy tales symbolises that we are leaving the concrete world of ordinary reality”
-The happy ending, which satisfies reader's wish of justice: the wolf disappears from the story when the huntsman kills it because the "bads" are always punished.
-The importance of the figure of the woman as a main character: suggesting the idea of equality between men and women within society.
-The moral:do not believe in strangers even if they behave kindly, in order to prepare children to insert them into adults' society.