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Analysis of Little Red Riding Hood

Analysis of Little Red Riding Hood

The psychologist Sigmund Freud created many theories on how people are and why they do the things they do. His psychoanalytic theories are used today to for a better understanding of and to analyze literature. Freud’s three key zones of mental process are the id, the ego and the superego. The id is one of the most important of the three when talking about “Little Red Riding Hood” by Charles Perrault. The author tries to show that being impulsive and basically giving in to your id is not the best way to live one’s life.

In the beginning of “Little Red Riding Hood”, the little girl is happily skipping through the forest. “…she met a wolf, who wanted to eat her…” (Stories, 1066) and proceeds to have a friendly conversation with him. This is her first mistake. Being young and uninformed about the ways of the world, she thinks it is perfectly normal to talk to a big, scary wolf. “The poor child did not know how dangerous it is to chatter away to wolves…” (Stories, pg. 1066). Since the little girl is young and impressionable, she jumps on her impulses to talk to any stranger she comes across. She does not think of what could come of her informing the wolf of her every move. She is not concerned with what might happen due to her irrational choice of speaking with a similarly irrational wolf.

The wolf is also guilty of giving in to his amoral desires. When he first sees the little girl, he “…wanted to eat her but did not dare to because there were woodcutters working nearby.” (Stories, pg. 1066) He refrained from giving into his impulses only because he was afraid of being hurt by the people nearby. However, the wolf did not stay hungry for long. Giving into his animalistic desires, he beat the girl to her grandmother’s house and proceeded to eat her. He could not ignore his desires anymore. The wolf thinks with his stomach and not his mind. “The id is, in short, the source of all our aggressions and desires.” (HCAL, pg. 130) The wolf shows the fundamental characteristics of the id. He relies on his aggression and desires to obtain what he wants.

At the end of the story, the irrationality of the main characters comes to an all time high.

The Dead Kitty in Ode on the Death of a Favorite Cat (Favourite)

The Dead Kitty in Ode on the Death of a Favorite Cat (Favourite)

Gray’s “Ode on the Death of a Favourite Cat, Drowned in a Tub of Gold Fishes” is a story of a curious cat that ends up in Purrgitory (ha ha). Gray uses not only formalistic literary devices, but he also uses dialog. As Gray speaks to the reader, he uses word choice and allusions to convey the correlation between women and cats.

Word choice plays a major roll in this poem, due to the fact that it helps set up allusion and other literary devices. Word choice also helps bring out the theme of relating women to cats with such phrases as “The hapless nymph with wonder saw:”(Gray 19) Nymphs are demigods, that are associated with nature and beauty. There is a second reference to nymphs, “No Dolphin came, no Nereid stirr’d:..”(Gray 34) Nereid is a sea nymph. One of the best parts in the poem is when Gray is describing the cat. “Her conscious tail her joy declar’d; The fair round face, the snowy beard, The velvet paws, Her coats, that with the tortoise vies, Her ears of jet, and emerald eyes,”(Gray 7- 11) This is great example of word choice and description. Gray also uses the word choice to create the atmosphere of grandeur.

Gray shows this form of word choice when he is describing the flowers in the first stanza, “The azure flowers,…”(Gray 3) He could have simply said the blue flowers, but by using this first form he is alluding to something greater. In the second stanza when he is describing the cat, he seems to also be describing women. Gray at this point is talking about how the cat move, especially it’s tail. One of the main things that draws people’s attention to a women is how they move, cats have the same attribute. Another allusion in the story is dealing with gold objects. “What female’s heart can gold despise? What Cat’s averse to fish?” (Gray 23-24) This refers to the desire that women have for jewelry and other expensive things. Compared to the desire of the cat for the gold fish. “Their scaly armour’s Tyrian hue throughout richest purple to the view betray’d a golden gleam.”(Gray 16-18) Gray is making a reference to the city of Tyre, which is famous for making purple dye, which Kings used for their royal colors.

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