In the story of “Little Red Riding Hood and the Wolf”, Roald Dahl interprets the little girl as a gun-wielding murderer. While in most of the other interpretations of this story we’ve read this semester, she seemingly is just a young and naive little girl. When she walks into grandmothers house she has no idea that her grandmother has already been eaten, and soon enough finds out that the wolf has scheduled her to be next on his list. The pistol that Little Red Riding hood secretly wields ends up telling him otherwise. For this reason it can be argued that Little Red Riding Hood is the antagonist of this story, not the wolf.
There are several facts that support this statement, and they are described as follows. The primary reason for a red flag is the fact that Little Red Riding Hood was in possession of a firearm in the first place. What was a little girl doing with a gun? Granted, this is a fairy tale world where wolves are capable of impersonating humans, (not to mention having a full grasp of the English language), but still the question remains – what did she think she needed a gun for? The reader is left with no way of knowing whether or not Little Red Riding Hood knew beforehand that the wolf had devoured McGary 2 ranny. It is possible that she brought the gun specifically to use on the wolf because she anticipated the prospect of having to kill it. It is somewhat more likely, however, that Little Red Riding Hood had no idea that the wolf had eaten granny, and just improvised her actions on the spot. This scenario suggests that she just happened to have a gun, and why would that be? It is possible that she carries a gun for protection, or perhaps she is a law enforcer of some sort – but neither of these cases justify the fact that a little girl was wielding a deadly weapon.
The obvious second reason for Little Red Riding Hood being the real antagonist of this play is the manner in which she mercilessly slaughtered the wolf. Of course, she was just getting back at the wolf for killing and eating her grandmother, but the wolf is a wild animal and needs to eat. It wouldn’t be right to shoot a bunny nibbling on your vegetable garden, and a wolf consuming a member of your family for sustenance shouldn’t be much different. Either way, Little Red Riding Hood not only killed the wolf, but did so in the cruelest way possible – with a smile on her face. “
The small girl smiles, one eyelid flickers. She whips a pistol from her knickers. She aims it at the creature’s head And bang bang bang, she shoots him dead. ” McGary 3 Three times. The reader is left to wonder why she thought three brutal point-blank shots to the head was indeed necessary. Either way this shocking act of violence is easily equal to, if not worse than what the wolf did to granny. As previously stated, the wolf was using an elaborate strategy in order to consume as much nutritious flesh as possible in order to perpetuate its own existence. Little Red Riding Hood performed a horrific act of murder merely for her own pleasure.
But this does not lead in comparison to what she does next. (Tatar) On top of violently butchering the wolf with a perverted smile of twisted pleasure on her face, she then proceeded to fashion a fur coat out of the pelt, presumably in some sort of grotesque victory ritual. This sort of behavior is expected of primitive tribes of barbaric cannibals, or possibly hordes of murderous daemons, but of innocent little girls? Indeed, it would seem that the author’s intention was to portray the little girl not as a vicious murderer, but something more like a “badass” for lack of a better word.
He probably just wanted to add depth to the character of Little Red Riding Hood by giving her a weapon and an attitude. He succeeded in this aspect of the story, but also opened the door for this sort of interpretation. The reader is left with ample room to speculate as to what the little girl’s motives were. For this reason it is not unreasonable to assume that Little Red Riding hood was the actual antagonist in this story, and that the wolf was simply an animal in need of food that got met with a tragic demise.