The Political Fairy Tale: The Case of Little Red Riding Hood in Palestine

A coffee and tea reception will be offered from 2pm

This study seeks to analyse the ways in which Little Red Riding Hood was instrumentalized in the Palestinian critical and subversive discourse. Although this text is usually presented as a children’s story, various media sources use it as a tool for social and political criticism of Palestinian society and Israeli policy toward Palestinians. One of the unique themes identified in the study highlights the absence of the grandmother’s character. Considering the significance of this character as an essential part of the classical fairy tale, this absence grabs attention. Though some Palestinian versions mention the grandmother’s character, Red Riding Hood cannot reach her house and meet her because of the wall or the wolf soldiers. The focus on the grandmother’s character enables the analysis of the question of absence and the ambivalent approach toward characters that represent the traumatic social history. When Brothers Grimm adapted the French fairytale to German, the character of the huntsman was added to save the little girl and her grandmother from the French wolf. In contrast, in most Palestinian versions of the story, the grandmother’s absence places the authority in the hands of the little girl, who takes the resistance into her own hands.