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Take for example the fairytale of ‘Little Red Riding Hood’. The girl with the red cap walks through the woods to deliver food to her sickly grandmother. She had the order from her mother to stay strictly on the path. She disobeys, goes off to pick flowers, and meets the wolf. He approaches Little Red Riding Hood and she naïvely tells him where she is going. He goes to the grandmother’s house and gains entry by pretending to be the girl. It is Little Red Riding Hood’s fault, that he then swallows the grandmother whole and waits for the girl, disguised as the grandma, and swallows her up too. In Charles Perrault’s version of the story, the tale ends here. If the girl would have had left the path to pick a certain medical plant that only would have helped Grandma to recover – the story would have been a tragedy. Instead of being only of palliative service accompanying Grandma’s death as her mother suggested to do, she would have been determined to actually safe Grandma’s life. Yet by attempting to do so, she not only causes Grandma’s cruel death, but also loses her own life. In the Brothers Grimm’s version, a hunter comes to the rescue her and with his axe cuts open the sleeping wolf. Little Red Riding Hood and her grandmother emerge unharmed (That would be a Hollywood drama, with the hunter marrying Little Red Riding Hood’s single mother in the end.) In epic theatre as developed by playwright Bertolt Brecht, the story would have started with the wolf in front of the closed curtain asking the audience if they would know where to find therapy for sex offenders, and then move on to tell the story from his point of view as a narrator. Hence, within the same plot material, different stories emerge, with different virtues.

(from: politics of narrative)

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