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Little Red Cap Analysis

  • Date Submitted: 02/27/2011 11:43 AM
  • Flesch-Kincaid Score: 60.6 
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Little Red Cap Close Analysis
The poem “Little red cap” is   a Poem written by Carol Ann Duffy that is based on an old fairytale story, in this case, the fairy tale is little red riding hood. The story is based on a young girl who is tricked by a wolf and ends up being eaten but later saved by a woodcutter. There are a couple of differences in this poem to the original story. For example, this poem uses imagery to create a very sexual feeling, where as the original fairytale was not in any way sexual, but had a more simplistic idea of good versus evil. The wolf in this poem is portrayed to the reader as a ‘good’ character, and Little Red Cap as the ‘sly’ one who appears to know what she is doing in order to get what she wants, this very much contrasts the original fairytale as in Duffys poem the roles are reversed.
The title of the poem grabs your attention and reminds you of ‘Red Riding Hood’, a children’s story. This is clever, as it sets the readers mind to thinking about the original story, which means that the reader can connect all of the similarities in the poem to the children’s story, an example of this would be when it says “What big eyes he had! What teeth!” In the first stanza of the poem, Duffy starts off with the metaphor “At childhood’s end”. This portrays that childhood is so powerful it has been described as a physical place. This also symbolises the movement from childhood to adulthood, this is a contrast to the fairytale as red riding hood was still very much a little girl in the original story.
There is a lot of imagery throughout the poem to portray to the reader that little red cap has lost her innocence and left it behind at the end of her childhood. “My stockings ripped to shreds, scraps of red from my blazer snagged on twig and branch”. This powerful use of the colour red may symbolise the passion in this very sexual part of the poem, or perhaps even blood. Later on in the poem Duffy uses colour again to create imagery, this is in the...

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