Archive for March, 2012

Red Riding Hood

Donna Leishman’s retellings of Little Red Riding Hood fairy tale was created in 2001. She is a media artist, designer, writer and researcher from Scotland. This was her first experiment in creating an interactive-narrative site. The original story of Little Red Riding Hood is a European fairy tale about a young girl and a wolf. It was first published by a French author called Charle Perrault in 1697. Since then there have been many changes in the story according to modern adaptations and readings across a number of different Medias.


Donna Leishman uses this famous classic fairy tale that gives the reader a clear idea of the storyline. This is a non-textual animated graphical comic book or a novel, a good example for an electronic literature. It requires reader’s interaction in order to tell the story. In some occasions the reader has to click on links to progress through the story. As the reader interacts though, the character develops and eventually the fairy tale unfolds. The story will not follow a liner pattern since the reader has to unfold it, pattern will vary according to the reader. The reader can browse over parts of the screen, too, and objects will respond by moving, such as flowers bloom when clicking on them. In these types of stories the most important goal is actually not reaching the end but rather the journey itself. Leishman does not want readers to solve puzzles but rather interact more meekly, for instance giving the reader the option of see what Red Riding Hood is dreaming on her way to grandmother’s place.  

Today most young children and also adults are familiar with the Little Red Riding Hood story, and therefore the reader understands the concept of the girl, the grandmother and the wolf. Even though Donna Leishman uses this classic fairy tale, she of course brings a modern twist to the story in some aspects. It is much of a darker story than the original story which many remembered. The author shows that from the starting point of the story. She has used font that has sharp edges for the title texts, that isn’t normal for a classic fairy tale. Many people argue that Red Riding Hood wears a red clock symbolizing, her becoming a woman and losing her virginity and the wolf as a man who is a lover or as a character that supposedly translates as a sexual predator. In Donna Leishman’s Red Riding Hood we can see that she really emphasized the wolf as a sexual predator, since Red Riding Hood ends up been pregnant. So Leishman instantly clears any doubt of sexual awakening references. The music played throughout the story is also helps to describe the mood of the story and it maintains the mysterious and the dark feeling.

 At the Red Riding Hood is lying on her grandmother’s bed with some knitting items at her feet and she wasn’t tied down or trying to leave as mentioned in the original story. Leishman also re-writes the ending in a different way. Instead of the woodcutter coming in to save her, he has a gun pointed to her head.



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