Language Investigation - Fairy Tales

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In the Fairy Tale ‘Little Red Riding Hood’ how has language changed, through the many versions, over time? Originally, Little Red Riding Hood was written as a moralistic bed time story. In the Charles Perrault version high frequency lexis such as ‘good’ and ‘little’ is used throughout in order to enable children to understand the happenings, whilst also highlighting the audience, for who the story is aimed at. The protagonist, Little Red Riding Hood, is presented by Perrault to be obedient, portrayed through the other characters imperatives, “Go, my dear,” “Take her cake,” “Come get into bed.” Little Red Riding Hood adheres to these commands ‘immediately’ as the adverb displays. Obedience was used in order to provide an example of how girls should act towards their superiors, in particular, their parents. A tremendous focus is on Little Red Riding Hood’s appearance as the superlative ‘prettiest’ displays, this leads people to be ‘fond’ and to ‘dote’ upon her, increasing her vulnerability as ‘predators’ are drawn to her or as Perrault wanted to show, men. Also, the repetition of the attributive ‘little’ alongside the common noun ‘girl’ highlights Little Red Riding Hood’s defencelessness. However, naivety is her ultimate downfall leading her to a grisly end. Despite the warnings that she should go straight to her Grandmother’s, Little Red Riding Hood becomes distracted by feminine pursuits, portrayed through the compound sentence “…gathering nuts, running after butterflies, and gathering bouquets of little flowers.” This emphasises her age and vulnerability as she isn’t aware of her surroundings and the danger they can impose. Her naivety is further displayed through the present participle ‘believing’ in relation to the sound of the wolf’s ‘big voice’ being her grandmother’s, despite noticing many ‘odd’ features such as “Grandmother, what big ears you have!” and
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