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Humanities 2016, 5(2), 41; doi:10.3390/h5020041

“I Am the Wolf: Queering ‘Little Red Riding Hood’ and ‘Snow White and Rose Red’ in the Television Show Once Upon a Time

Department of English, The Ohio State University, 421 Denney Hall, 164 Annie & John Glenn Ave. Columbus, OH 43210, USA
Academic Editor: Claudia Schwabe
Received: 2 March 2016 / Revised: 5 June 2016 / Accepted: 6 June 2016 / Published: 8 June 2016
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Fairy Tale and its Uses in Contemporary New Media and Popular Culture)
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Abstract

In season one, episode 15 of the television show Once Upon a Time, viewers are given a glimpse into the history of Ruby/Red, the series’ version of Red Riding Hood. The episode reveals that, contrary to most oral and written versions of the ATU 333 tale, Red herself is the wolf: a werewolf who must wear an enchanted red cloak in order to keep from turning into a monster. The episode also features the beginnings of the close friendship between Red and Snow White. The sisterly bond that quickly forms between the two women, combined with the striking images of their respective red and white cloaks, easily calls to mind a less familiar fairy tale not explicitly referenced in the series: “Snow White and Rose Red” (ATU 426). Taking queer readings of this text as starting points, I argue that this allusion complicates the bond between the two women, opening up space for a compelling reading of Red’s werewolf nature as a coded depiction of her then latent but later confirmed bisexuality. View Full-Text
Keywords: fairy tale; queer; television; werewolf; “Little Red Riding Hood”; “Snow White and Rose Red”; Once Upon a Time fairy tale; queer; television; werewolf; “Little Red Riding Hood”; “Snow White and Rose Red”; Once Upon a Time
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).

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Warman, B. “I Am the Wolf: Queering ‘Little Red Riding Hood’ and ‘Snow White and Rose Red’ in the Television Show Once Upon a Time”. Humanities 2016, 5, 41.

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