Passage Analysis: “What Bugs Bunny Said to Red Riding Hood”

November 8, 2021 by Essay Writer

In “What Bugs Bunny Said to Red Riding Hood” Tim Seibles uses the form of a parody to highlight the element of the conflation of two characters. Seibles merges the rescuer character of Bugs Bunny and the predator character to be “one in the same” (Maaren, Module 2, “The Hunter”). The parody reflects the basic story of Little Red Riding Hood, but makes a comment on the type of predator that she meets and should fear. He focuses less on whether she is eaten or escapes and focuses more on the nature of the character targeting her. In other words, Seibles essentially uses the form of a parody to mock the type of predator that a young girl should be afraid of. Seibles uses Bugs Bunny; an iconic male figure who many young boys and girls grew up watching, to demonstrate the animalistic and sexually driven nature that can be found in even the most seemingly ordinary and innocent of men.

The notion is similarly seen in “The Company of Wolves” by Angela Carter and the overall moral of Seibles parody is similarly seen in Charles Perrault’s “Little Red Riding Hood”. In “The Company of The Wolves”, Carter merges two of the characters from the Grimm Brothers “Little Red Riding Hood”; “the rescuer character of the hunter and the predator character of the wolf” (Maaren, Module 2, “The Hunter”). The hunter who saves the girl in Carter’s story uses his charm, protection and seduction to appeal to the girls maturing sexual curiosity. In “What Bugs Bunny Said to Red Riding Hood”, Bugs Bunny uses the same type of idea to appeal to Red Riding Hood. He takes advantage of her position and uses flattery, comfort and fear to steer her towards trusting him, in which he figures will lead to her successfully going home with him. In Perrault’s story, he cautions young women to be mindful of the “wolves who seem perfectly charming, sweet-natured and obliging” (Perrault 34). Seibles extracted this moral and gave readers a clear example of what exactly Perrault said.

The use of Bugs Bunny, as opposed to the usual wolf or wood cutter, in Seibles parody is significant in aiding his demonstration that it is not only the grizzly, creepy, dangerous men that young women should fear as they so often do but, sometimes the personable, kind, ordinary men that most young women often neglect to think of as predators. Bugs Bunny is so often thought of as good in nature, it is not common to think of him as falsifying his behaviour for personal sexual gain. Though, Seibles portrays this type of character within his entire reading. It appears to Bugs Bunny that Red Riding Hood is in a vulnerable position; walking through the unfamiliar woods by herself. This qualifies her as an easy target and gives him the perfect opportunity to take advantage of her. Although, he refrains from doing this so blatantly. He is strategic in using flattery, comfort and fear to manipulate Red Riding Hood. Immediately after coming across the girl in the forest, Bugs Bunny goes on to comment about how she physically looks. He makes reference to her appearance about six or seven times in the entire parody. He first greets her with the phrase, “Say good lookin, what brings you out thisaway…” (Seibles 1) and follows up by asking her why she is out “all dolled up like a fire engine to cruise these woods? ” (Seibles 6). He then goes on to warn Red Riding Hood about the dangers of the animals in the forest, and reassures her that she is safe with him because he “ain’t a meat-eater” (Seibles 20).

Everything that comes out of Bugs Bunny’s mouth is suggestive in the fact that he is sexually attracted to her and trying to convince her to go home with him by indirectly appealing to her sexuality. In the last sentences of the parody, Bugs Bunny says to the girl, “. . . I got some candles and some cold uncola back at my place-whaddaya say? / You got any artichokes in that basket? ” (Seibles 48-50). The notion of candles and drinks are consistent with the act of setting the mood and artichokes are in fact aphrodisiacs: usually a substance that increases sexual drive or desire. His end goal is made clear and his method in achieving it is contrary to what he is warning her about. Seeming as though he is unlike the other animals, it potentially allows for Red Riding Hood to trust him and accept his offer on the ground that he very much manipulated her. The element of merging the rescuer character and predator character is significant in the underlying message in Carter’s,“The Company of Wolves” and Perrault’s, “Little Red Riding Hood”. It sheds light on the fact that women can be taken advantage of from whomever they meet and more times than not, it is made to appear as if it is their own fault because of the fact that they were manipulated. In saying this, follows the idea of victim blaming. Victim blaming is touched upon on three separate occasions in Seibles parody. It usually goes hand in hand with female exploitation. On one occasion, Bugs Bunny says to Red Riding Hood, “Didn anyone ever tell you it ain’t smart / to sick out in wild places? ” (Seibles15-16) and on another he goes on to say, “. . . The noyve a’that broad / sendin you out here lookin like a ripe tomata” (Seibles 32-33). This is almost certainly referring to the unfortunate though, commonly thought idea that, she is or was asking for it. This phrase is typically heard and has been typically heard, when a female is or was sexually exploited by a man. More times than not it is usually heard to be the defence of the predator. The fact that the story does not go on to let readers know what choice Red Riding Hood made, in terms of going to Bugs Bunny’s home or proceeding on to her grandmother’s home, goes to show that Seibles focus is more so on the male energy versus the female energy (Maaren, Module 2, “The Moral of the Story Is. . . ”).

Readers can assume that is the reason why Red Riding Hood’s responses are not provided. It is about showcasing the lengths that a male will go to in order to “score”. Seibles parody comments on the idea that the well known stories, typically focus on the grizzly wolf and lack focus on the predator in disguise. It mocks the idea that young women are made to fear the obvious, because the obvious is not always in plain sight. Bugs Bunny is a male figure, well-known to children and adults of various age groups. He is portrayed to be a funny, charming and a inherently. The merging of the predator character and rescuer character is used to realistically portray Perrault’s moral that the “smooth-tongued, smooth pelted wolves, are the most dangerous beasts of all” (Perrault 34). Siebles depicts Bugs Bunny as driven by his animalistic, sexual nature to showcase the lengths that any man will go to, to manipulate and coerce a female to engage in her own sexual behaviour at his advantage.

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