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A Tale of the Times

Par   •  25 Septembre 2018  •  1 689 Mots (7 Pages)  •  593 Vues

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As I have been stating for a certain time now, all of the plot points I have exposed above affect the way that we may interpret the story, but they are also intrinsically linked to the socio-historic setting of their writing. In the case of Delarue, his tale is a clear reflection of the oral tradition that was common among the peasant masses of the early renaissance period. It’s coarse language and graphic scenes are indicative of a lower class that was not so preoccupied with seeming politically correct but rather focused on telling a simple and straightforward tale that would serve as a warning to young women. However, despite the vulgarity it contains “The Story of Grandmother” is full of important symbolisms of the time: “the bzou”, who is ever so charming and dangerous; “The Needles Road or the Pins Road” portray the symbolism of maturity through the pin, a temporary item that only serves to hold pieces together before a design is made permanent, and the needle, which serves as a symbol of finality and perfection; and the cannibalism scene could serve as more than an indication of the young lady’s innocence but also as a metaphor for the transfer of wisdom and intelligence from one generation to the next which eventually leads to the girl escaping the bzou. Thus “The Story of Grandmother” represents a period where women could speak of themselves as strong, independent, and capable (Red Riding Hood, n.d.). In Perrault’s tale however, this vision of women has greatly changed. In his time, it had become common practice to take tales of the lower class and reinvent them in such a way that they could apply to the higher class. So it was that the vulgarity and violence were removed and the tale modified in such a way that it portrayed women in a much different light (Buchinger, n.d.). Gone was the self-sufficiency and intelligence of the original tale, replaced as they were by the values that high society wanted to enforce on the women of their time: silence, obedience, simplicity, and purity of body. These traits were what were desired by the male dominated culture of late 17th century France as they allowed husbands and fathers a greater degree of control over the women in their lives so that they could be used to meet whatever ends the men needed to meet (Mythsweliveby, 2010).

In conclusion, when one pays close attention to the particular details of the plot and the differences to be seen between the two stories, we are led to two very different meanings of what a woman should be despite both stories being a reflection the same exact tale.


Buchinger, Michael. "Desexualizing Little Red Riding Hood: A Comparison of Charles Perrault's and the Brothers Grimm's Versions of the Popular Fairy Tale." - Share Research., n.d. Web. 18 Feb. 2017.

Delarue, Paul. "The Story of Grandmother." Genius. N.p., 21 Jan. 2015. Web. 18 Feb. 2017.

Herman, David et. al. Routledge Encyclopedia of Narrative Theory. London: Routledge, 2010. Print.

Red Riding Hood. "The Grandmother's Tale." Red Riding Hood., n.d. Web. 18 Feb. 2017.

Mythsweliveby. "Little Red Riding Hood in France." Fairy Tale Origins., 16 Dec. 2010. Web. 18 Feb. 2017.


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