Little girls, this seems to say
Never stop upon your way
Never trust a stranger-friend
No one knows how it will end
As you’re pretty, so be wise
Wolves may lurk in every guise
As a little girl Hinke Schreuders used to dream about being Little Red Riding Hood. Wandering in a dark wood she meets the wolf and just before he eats her she would wake up.
Nowadays Little Red Riding Hood keeps returning in her work. The story is known as a symbol for the dangers girls can ran in their path in life. But, is Little Red Riding Hood really a neat girl?
The original story, written by Charles Perrault in 1683, is a little different from the one familiar to us. Here Little Red Riding Hood does a striptease for the wolf, then crawls naked in his bed and at the end the wolf eats her. No rescue here. It was meant to be a warning to the young ladies of nobility; they had better not be tempted or otherwise …
In the course of the centuries the story changed. In the fairy tale we read to our children, an observant hunter accidentally in the neighborhood rescues Little Red Riding Hood. He frees her from the belly of the wolf and they live long and happy ever after. As the neat compliant wife she should be.
The embroidery technique Hinke Schreuder uses is a technique associated with the good, diligent housewife but at the same time her work shows a duality between sexual self-awareness and innocence, neither seems to promise a template for Utopia nor complete despair.
Her Little Red Riding Hood shows us two sides of the girl. There is the “good girl” and there also is the girl being seduced to leave the right path. Because she might want to go her own way, because she’s looking for adventure. Or because she actually wants to be seduced by the wolf
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