Adventures in Reading

Revisted Reviews: Little Red Riding Hood Uncloaked by Orenstein

In my experience of feminist discourse, now and again fairy tales and their influence on people as children and as adults just seem to pop up. Orenstein gives us an entire book on the Little Red Riding Hood tale including the original tale, different versions that have cropped up, a multitude of interpretations that have been viewed, as well as the modern use of the tale. I loved this book right up to the end where I felt Orenstein took an easy cop out through a poorly argued use of women’s empowerment with red riding hood and porn/fantasy.

I definitely want to reread Little Red Riding Hood Uncloaked. I picked up this book shortly after concluding a course in children’s literature where a good portion of the course, or at least my involvement in it, was spent looking at the agenda of children’s literature and the influence it has on children versus adults. In retrospect, I think Orenstein did a terrific job building up to a conclusion that poorly dismissed many of the earlier arguments. From what I recall, the final chapter attempts an argument of reclamation and specifically that women can reclaim, redescribe, and reinvent this fairy tale to suit our own needs. I can’t say I completely disagree but after such a well-written and researched book I felt it was presented in a poor manner.

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