Master of Arts (M.A.)
Degree Granting Department
Christine McCall-Probes, Ph.D.
Anne Latowsky, Ph.D.
Jennifer Cazenave, Ph.D.
Charlotte Trinquet, Ph.D.
Children’s Literature, Fairy Tales, Rewriting, Little Red Riding Hood
Creating and writing fairy tales is a literary exercise that was introduced in the salons of the XVII century. Madame d'Aulnoy and Charles Perrault began to write the fairy tales that became fashionable at the court of King Louis XIV. Despite the simplicity of their narrative patterns, the tales carry messages that affect all readers. First addressed to adults, fairy tales dealt with anxieties, fears and desires of the human being.
Little Red Riding Hood is one of the most famous tales in the world. Universally loved, this cautionary tale has experienced much evolution through the centuries. There are some differences between the very bloody oral version and the version of Perrault. A century later, the version of the two German brothers, the brothers Grimm, became the best-known version. But the story’s main rudiments have not changed: the little girl, the wolf, the mother, the grandmother and the forest, these elements have not ceased to inspire the authors up to the present day.
Today the rewriting of fairy tales has become an art in its own right. If we look at the market of youth literature, we will find hundreds of tales rewritten and modernized. Writers take advantage of the popularity of these tales that fascinate adults as well as children. Little Red Riding Hood has turned into a story about a little girl with a Little Hood of all colors: navy blue or green.
Among a long list of rewritten tales we have chosen to study five. The first tale is taken from the collection entitled Contes à l'envers by Dumas and Moissard: Le Petit Chaperon bleu marine (Little Navy Blue Riding Hood) This tale written in 2009 represents a clear illustration of the transfigured tale. The other four tales we have chosen are written by Geoffroy de Pennart. Through the study of these tales, we shall see how the character of the wolf has changed from the wretched wolf of Perrault. Le loup est revenue (The Wolf Has Returned) published in 1994 presents all the animals of the traditional tales that are afraid of the return of the wolf. Le loup sentimental (The Sentimental Wolf) released in 1998, features several famous characters from the classical tales and creates unexpected links between all these characters. The third tale is Chapeau rond rouge (Red Round Hat) published in 2004; this tale is a parody of the classic tale. Finally Le retour de Chapeau rond rouge (The Return of Red Round Hat) released in 2011 is a contemporary tale that refers to three previous tales: The Little Red Riding Hood, Goldilocks and the Three Bears and Red Round Hat.
Through the reading of these five modern tales we can follow the course of the evolution of the tale. This study examines the evolution of the classic tale, its rewriting and intertextual correlations in the tale of Little Red Riding Hood. By analyzing adapted and rewritten modern tales, this research attempts to demonstrate that a rewritten tale is read only in light of the knowledge of the original tale. Inverted, transfigured or mixed, these tales offer the reader a great pleasure. The audience enjoys reading these texts full of humor and references winks compared to the classic tale. The role of heroes is often reversed in modern tales and morality does not remain the same. Thanks to this reading of the second degree of the rewritten tale, children discover and deepen their gaze in regards to the modern world.
Scholar Commons Citation
Boules, Sophia, "L’évolution du Petit Chaperon rouge" (2017). Graduate Theses and Dissertations.