Wolves: The Sexual Awakening of Little Red Thesis
Excerpt from Thesis :
Wolves: The sexual awakening of Little Red
"The Company of Wolves" by Angela Carter depicts the fairy tale of Little Red Riding Hood as a sexual awakening for the young woman, Little Red. [THESIS]. This can be seen in how the wolf is sexualized and depicted as a vibrant, attractive man in the eyes of Little Red
"He strips off his shirt. His skin is the color and texture of vellum. A crisp strip of hair runs down his belly, his nipples are ripe and dark as poison fruit but he's so thin you could count the ribs under his skin if only he'd give you the time…His genitals, huge. Ah! Huge!" (Carter 317). The story retains the general structure of the fairy tale until the end, but the descriptions of Little Red and the wolf give the story an additional sexual relevance.
For example, in the above-cited quotation, the wolf's true, sexual nature and carnivorous desire is revealed when he exposes himself to grandmother. The man/wolf is hairy and mature as a man yet he also has a strangely feminine side: "his nipples are ripe and dark as poison fruit" (Carter 317) His nipples are like poison fruit, which Eve
ate from the Tree of Knowledge, causing the fall of man. The wolf is the tempter and offers the fruit of knowledge of sexuality, but the fact that his nipples are so prominent suggests a kind of maternal identity despite the fact that his genitals are "huge."
Later, the sexuality of the wolf will become even more confused as he takes on the persona of grandmother, wearing her clothing and speaking in her voice. As obviously male as the wolf may be because of the cartoonish size of his genitals and his nakedness, he embodies both the female and male principles of sexual identity. However, he will 'deflower' Little Red with death, as the girl comes to understand that her red cloak is just as red as the blood she will spill, symbolically losing her life and her virginity at the same time.
Carter clearly portrays sexual initiation as a death to female autonomy, and the loss of blood and one's own knife, as the woman falls under the protection and domination of a man. The young woman's desire for independence in the woods actually results in…
Sources Used in Documents:
Carter, Angela. "The Company of Wolves." From The Bloody Chamber and Other Stories.
New York: Penguin, 1990.
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