Riding the Red Essay

1203 Words 5 Pages
“I've told her and I've told her: daughter, you have to teach that child the facts of life before it's too late” (Hopkinson 1). These are the first three lines of Nalo Hopkinson's fairy tale “Riding the Red”, a modern adaptation of Charles Perrault's “Little Red Riding Hood”. Perrault provided a moral to his fairy tales, the one from this one is to prevent girls from men's nature. In Hopkinson's adaptation, the goal remains the same: through the grandmother biographic narration, the author advances a revisited but still effective moral: beware of wolfs even though they seem innocent. This modern fairy tale contains diverse characters but none of them is as important as the grandmother. Through her narration, the reader gets all the …show more content…
In Hopkinson's story, experience is central as it leads to the complication the grandmother tries to avoid by her story. The mother opposes her mother's envy for protection and tells her that it is not necessary to frighten her daughter because “girlie's too young yet, there's plenty of time.” (2). The mother sees her mother's personal story as a “ghastly old wi[fe's] tale[s].” By describing her mother's life in such a denigrating way shows an opposition between two different broader ways to report events: a story based on facts when the other could be a tale with its allegories. This text mixes both types which revels Hopkinson's style designated by herself, in a 1999 interview with Gregory E. Rutledge, as "speculative fiction” defined by Jewelle Gomez in her article “Speculative Fiction and Black Lesbians”: “I conflate the terms science fiction and fantasy fiction under this rubric [Speculative Fiction] because each in its own way addresses human concern with the future, with magic, and with the preternatural.” (949). The story borrows its characters from “Little Red Riding Hood”, such as the wolf, even though Hopkinson calls “wolfie” (2), “Grandma” (1), “the woodman” (3) and finally “red hood” (2), which are fairy tale characters mixed to real events, sets the story in a speculative fiction genre. Hopkinson introduces changes concerning the girl: in her story, the “red hood” (2) defines

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