Red Riding Cap

How has Carol Ann Duffy rewritten/transformed a known text or story? How can her versions have the same characters, but be “about” something different?

Carol Ann Duffy has used a common and well-known children’s story but has completely changed the meaning of the story. In her version, she has made the story more sexual and more violent with a much deeper meaning. It is her personal experience of having a relationship with an older man. The older man is represented by the wolf, as they are animals that are said to be evil and aggressive because she thinks of her experiences with him as troubling and feels that he took advantage of her lack of maturity. She uses the story of ‘Red Riding Hood’ as a way to tell her story in a way that many people may understand by using a well-known story as well as the same characters. In her version of the story, Red Riding Hood represents herself while the wolf represents the older man whom she had a relationship with and who took advantage of her lack of experience and immaturity.  The grandmother represents her grandmother in real life except in the context of the story the grandmother had been in a similar situation when she was younger and was trying to advise her daughter against falling into the same trap. The forest seems to represent the oppression of the relationship she had with the man and just like in the story when Red Riding Hood’s mother told her not to step off the path, Carol Ann did and this is how she ended up in that type of situation.

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