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“The story begins, as so many do, with a journey. In this case, it’s a seemingly simple one: a young girl, cloaked in red, must carry a basket of food through the woods to her bedridden grandmother. Along the way, she meets a duplicitous wolf who persuades her to dawdle: Notice the robins, he says; Laze in the sun, breathe in the hyacinth and bluebells; Wouldn’t your grandmother like a fresh bouquet? Meanwhile, he hastens to her grandmother’s cottage, where he swallows the old woman whole, slips into her bed, and waits for his final course.
“Little Red Riding Hood”—with its striding plot, its memorable characters, and its rich symbolism—has inspired ceaseless adaptations. Since the seventeenth century, writers have expanded, revised, and modernized the beloved fairy tale thousands of times. Literary scholars, anthropologists, and folklorists have devoted reams of text to analyzing the long-lived story, interpreting it as an allegory of puberty and sexual awakening, a parable about spiritual rebirth, a metaphor for nature’s cycles (night swallowing day, day bursting forth again), and a cautionary tale about kidnapping, pedophilia, and rape. Artists have retold the story in just about every medium: television, film, theater, pop music, graphic novels, video games. Anne Sexton wrote a poem about “a shy budkin / in a red red hood” and a huntsman who rescues her with “a kind of caesarian section.” In Roald Dahl’s version, she “whips a pistol from her knickers,” shoots the wolf in the head, and wears his fur as a coat. The 1996 movie Freeway recasts the wolf as a serial killer and Little Red Riding Hood as a teenage runaway. Liza Minnelli starred in a Christmas special modeled on the fable. Both Walt Disney and Tex Avery—the cartoonist and director who helped popularize Bugs Bunny, Daffy Duck, and Elmer Fudd—made animated versions with decidedly different themes.”
JJ Editor's Daily Picks
"The results were surprising. The center-right coalition, led by Prime Minister Scott Morrison, remained in power against the opposition Labor party, which had led in every poll for years."
"Anger seldom works against Trump; he owns the currency and can always issue more of it. In addressing the rogue President directly, or speaking about him in the third person, Pelosi usually adopts a tone that is more sorrowful than angry..."
"I am Mizrahi, as are the majority of Jews in Israel today. We are of Middle Eastern and North African descent. Only about 30% of Israeli Jews are Ashkenazi, or the descendants of European Jews."
"Kids are exposed to plenty of controversial social issues on a daily basis. And if parents don’t want their kids to watch “Mr. Ratburn and the Special Someone,” they can turn off the TV."
"Are public-school teachers really underpaid? It’s a claim often made during teacher pay disputes, but the same data and statistical methods that produce the “teacher salary gap” lead to some ridiculous conclusions..."
"Tech companies are getting into the business of making cities. We need to stop Silicon Valley social engineering before things get even worse."
"Having a Library or Cafe Down the Block Could Change Your Life: Living close to public amenities—from parks to grocery stores—increases trust, decreases loneliness, and restores faith in local government."
"“What name . . . shall we give to the darkness of hell...?” The question of how we can name a place such as this is at the center of scholar Scott G. Bruce’s new anthology The Penguin Book of Hell."
"She had all six of her kids — ages 5, 4, 2 (twins) and 10 months (also twins!) in her 10-seater van. To get the kids a quick snack, Curry parked in front of the Cobbler’s Café."
"Nearly three-quarters of those surveyed said they grew up typically eating dinner at a kitchen table, but a little less than half said they do so now when eating at home."
"If you tied a rope tight around the Earth’s equator and then added a single yard of slack, would the extra material make any noticeable difference to someone standing on the ground?"
"While American Jewish women face attacks on our freedom and rising anti-Semitism, abortion opponents are appropriating Jewish history in order to push an agenda that hurts women."