For my cartoon about Little Red Riding Hood, I chose this humorous cartoon that gives perhaps a growing child's perspective on this classic fairy tale. In this cartoon, the mother is reading the fairy tale to her child and instead of siding with Red Riding Hood, the child sides with the wolf instead. The child lists his reasons for siding with the wolf as the fact that the story puts a label on the wolf and that we don't get the wolf's point of view, just Red's. He calls it "typical media bias" but I see it as the result of a growing child's changing perspective on the story. Perhaps when he was little, he didn't think about the wolf being labeled or the one point of view we get but now as he is getting older, his perspective is changing.
One of the interesting things in this cartoon is the reverse of adult-child roles in that instead of the adult thinking this story has "typical media bias," the child thinks this. The adult looks confused as a child might if the adult (a mother in this case) had said what the child in the cartoon said. Instead of going along with the story like a child would, the child instead questions how the tale is written and why we aren't given the wolf's side of the story. The child takes over the adult's role as questioner in this cartoon and shocks the mother. Also, the fact that the mother is reading the tale may reinforce the idea of women reading or telling their children tales back before the invention of electricity or beds or even books.
Also, there is the picture of the wolf above the child's bed. Why is that there? Perhaps this is showing that the child favors the wolf over Little Red Riding Hood. He prefers the forbidden over the acceptable. Perhaps the child is the wolf, expressing the wolf's point of view from the story. After all, we never hear the wolf's side of things. We just assumes he wants to eat Red Riding Hood and her grandmother because the story tells us that this is what wolves think about. There are always two sides to every story after all.
I like this cartoon a lot because it shows how I would view Little Red Riding Hood now as an adult. Growing up, I used to take the story of Red Riding Hood for granted. I would always side with the hero because like Bettleheim says, "the more simple and straightforward a good character, the easier it is for a child to identify with it and to reject the bad other" (Bettleheim 11). Little Red Riding Hood was always portrayed as a sweet girl who everyone loves and how is the wolf portrayed? As an evil bastard who likes to eat children and grandmothers. Now, I have started to question the portrayal of the wolf and even the relationship between Red and the Wolf. I like to see the wolf's point of view in this story and even more I would like to see if a relationship of love and companionship could or could not form between Red and the Wolf. I've read many interesting fanfics focusing on this idea and I think I like them more than the actual fairy tale itself. Like the child in the cartoon, I have grown up not taking fairy tales for granted and instead have thought more about the what ifs. What if Little Red Riding Hood had gotten to the house before the wolf? What if the wolf hadn't eaten the grandmother or Red? What if the hunter was the villain in the story instead of the wolf? The questions are endless and I kind of like this about fairy tales. You can always reinvent the tale and shape it the way you want to. Who says that all fairy tales have to have one point of view? Who says that Red couldn't be the villain and the wolf the hero? After all, the only limit we have is our imagination. This cartoon shows me the idea of thinking beyond the story and not just accepting it at face value.
Bettelheim, Bruno. The Uses of Enchantment: The Meaning and Importance of Fairy Tales. New York: Vintage Books, 1975. Print.