“New Wine in Old Bottles”: Ethical Literary Criticism, Adaptations and Angela Carter’s Little Red Riding Hood

  •  Anqi Peng    
  •  Xi Chen    


This paper reexamines the classic fairy tale “Little Red Riding Hood” and, in conjunction with Angela Carter's adaptations, “The Werewolf”, “The Company of Wolves”, and “Wolf-Alice”, reimagining and analyzing the story from the perspective of literary ethics. Both the original version of “Little Red Riding Hood” and Carter’s adaptations exhibit strong ethical consciousness. Carter’s artistic creation is deeply influenced by European traditional fairy tales in many aspects. The tragic endings of “Little Red Riding Hood” and Carter’s adapted version, “The Company of Wolves”, symbolize the disruption of ethical order. In both versions, the breakdown of ethical order is a result of violating ethical taboos, usurping ethical identities, and allowing free will to dominate, disregarding rational will. The conclusions of these two ethical tragedies serve as a warning to people: any violation of ethical taboos, trespassing on identity, and disruption of ethical order will bring punishment. Meanwhile, Carter’s adapted versions also illustrate the artistic charm and value of tragedy, as well as the practical significance of upholding ethical order. The paper analyzes key themes such as gender, power, morality, and self-awareness in the adaptation and explores how these themes can be reinterpreted through literature, placing the story in a contemporary context to enhance its relevance.

This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.
  • ISSN(Print): 1925-4768
  • ISSN(Online): 1925-4776
  • Started: 2011
  • Frequency: quarterly

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