“Do as you're told!” Young children are always told to never talk to strangers, to not accept candy from anyone you do not know and to never wander off. No matter what version of Little Red Riding Hood you have read, the moral of the tale is essentially that; do as your told and avoid strangers. If you read deeper into the symbolism of the many tales you will notice similarities involving the path of virtue for young women.
In many of the versions, Little Red’s mother instructs her daughter to follow the path to Grandmother's house without straying or stopping. In the Lower Lusatia version she responds to her mother's orders quite clearly, “I will observe everything well that you have told me.” In Marelles version her mother gives her detailed instruction, “You will ask her how she is, and come back at once, without stopping to chatter on the way with people you don't know. Do you quite understand?” The basic moral is quite evident in both the mothers orders and Red's response, however if you imply the metaphor of the path to grandma's house as the path of virtue than 'straying off the path” has a deeper meaning than simply the physical aspect of wandering the woods.
As Little Red begins her journey, all of her mother’s advice quickly leaves her head as she is approached by a wolf. “'The poor child, who did not know that it was dangerous to stay and talk to a wolf...' 'the little girl took a roundabout way, entertaining herself by gathering nuts, running after butterflies, and gathering bouquets of little flowers.'” (Perrault) This animal in particular has been portrayed often in literature as a defiant being, ranging from being a thief, a murderer, and a trickster. The wolf senses that Little Red is naive and sees an opportunity for a new prey. He tricks her into wandering off the path, or in some versions, telling him where her grandmother lives. When she wanders off the path, she starts to deviate from the path of virtue and her naivety is...