The Bloody Chamber
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The Bloody Chamber
the book is based on fairytales
Angela Carter challenges representations of typical fairytale
collection of short stories
Carter was a feminist
evident in her work-men are victims instead of girls
inspired maybe all events at the time e.g. In 1979 Margaret Thatcher became first female PM
Carter was known as 'Godmother of realism'
'The bloody chamber'
Based on the ledgend of Bluebeard
where girl gets saved from evil husband by her two brothers
By Charles Perrault
this story sticks to conventions of Gothic
e.g. settings-isolated castle
The Marquis is the villain in this text
wiser, mysterious, deranged,possesive
the young girl is the victim in this text
curious,innocent, virgin, helpless
subordinate to men
Carter challenges stereotype of women by making the mother the hero
has male traits e.g. fearless
doesn't rely on men, her husband died leaving her to raise her daughter alone
"outfaced a junkful of Chinese pirates, nursed a village through a visitation of the plague,shot a man eating Tiger with he own hand."
example of mother's bravery
"seemed to me like a mask, as if his real face, the face that truly reflected all the life he had led in the world before he met me."
the Marquis is disguising himself with a metaphorical mask
"his wedding gift clasped round my throat,a choker of rubies."
metaphor for her being his possesion
"the castle, at home neither on teh land nor on the water a mysterious,amphibious place."
"I had been infinitely dishevelled by the loss of my virginity."
"he is here I know it, I must stay with you."
Jean-Yves wants to protect the girl
"he had the most touchingly ingenious smile."
Jean-Yves genuinely kind unlike Marquis
Carter has set story up as a metaphor for the young girl growing up
narrator is a new bride
'The courtship of Mr Lyon'
Beast is victimised
relies on company of Beauty
"since you have left me I have been sick, I could not go hunting."
female has more freedom
comes from a good life-wealthy
father is rich
"a whole new wardrobe for his darling , so she could step out on his arm to parties."
still has to serve her men
"possessed by a sense of obligation to an unusual degree"
"She smiled at herself with satisfaction, she was learning at the end of her adolescence how to be a spoiled child."
emphasis on snow could be a metaphor linked to the girl's virginity /purity
based on Beauty and the Beast
the 'white rose'
could represent the exchanging of Beauty
"Take her the rose then bring her to dinner."
uses the rose to get closer to beauty
beast is quite Masculine to start with
"shook him like an angry child shakes a doll."
and is very masculine at the end
"and then it was no longer a lion in her arms but a man, a man with an unkempt mane of hair."
house represents the beast
"behind wrought iron gates a short snowy drive performed a reticent flourish before a miniature, perfect Palladian house that seemed to hide itself"
The lion might seem big and scary but underneath the stereotype he is a kind being who is shy
'The Tiger's Bride'
Another story based on Beauty and the Beast
Tiger has feminine traits like Lyon
has valet to communicate for him
"he wears a mask with a man's face painted most beautifully on it"
"he was far more frightened of me than I was of him"
Tiger/ girl grow together in terms of character
tiger learns to be himself
whereas girl learns to love herself
"I shrugged the drops off my beautiful fur."
girl is objectified by men
The beast takes care of her/respects her
he asks girl for permission to see her naked rather than be forceful
father loses her to beast due to Gambling
"if you are so careless with your treasures, you should expect them to be taken from you."
tear drop earrings
true representation of the male's emotion
"he laughs with glee."-Beauty's father doesn't care that he has just lost his daughter to gambling
narrator is the girl
'Puss in Boots'
narrative voice is masculine/ is someone who is arrogant
"for what lady in all the world say no"
speaks in third person "when puss takes his promenade upon the tiles for my song recalls flamenco"
references to music
a young man sees Puss put on the Boots which have been thrown at him
decides to use him as his Valet/assistant
his Master falls in love with a girl
but the woman is already married to a old man
but his Master didn't care, he was in love
he stopped sleeping with other women because he loved her
even tries serenading the woman by singing
by the old hag who is amongst the woman shuts the shutters to refrain the woman from him
Puss thought that if his master slept with the woman then he will forget her after
Puss befriends signor Pantelone's cat who is the woman's husband's cat
after the master tries to serenade the woman Puss/Tabby (pantelones) cat/master plan to be rat catchers
in order to gain access to Pantelone's house
plan works and the old hag leaves cats in room with the woman
the Master and woman have sex whilst Puss pretends to make rat catching noises
but even after this the Master doesn't get over the girl
so Puss decides to help the Master once again by planning to kill signor P
Tabby the cat kills Signor P by tripping him up
Master arrives posing as a doctor
Hag goes to find Signor's will
Master and Woman have sex on the floor whilst next to the dead corpse on the bed
set in Italy-
Bergamo-place of romance
based on Puss in Boots by Charles Perrault
The Erl King
girl enters the forest and meets the erl King who captures young girls turns them into birds and puts them in cages
she then kills the Erl king and releases trapped women
based on German and Scandinavian folklore/traditions of Green Man
Erl king is controlling/manipulative/mysterious/represents nature
has some feminine traits
"he makes an excellent housewife"
could represents story of Adam and Eve
setting is important-forest
Freud "forest represents our unconsciousness"
forest is trapping the girl
girl could be saviour or destroyer of nature
"mother,mother you have murdered me!"
"then she will open all cages and let the birds free"
girl is brave
"softly with hands as gentle as rain I softly strangled him with them"
narrative voice switches about a lot-starts as third person, then second, then first person
The Snow Child
story is based on Snow White
could be an exploration of sexual jealousy
starts with an aristocrat riding a horse with his wife, the Count wished for a young,beautiful girl
they then stumble across a girl who fits the desires of the Count
Countess gets jealous and attempts to kill her
wins on her third attempt where girl pricks her finger and dies
count cries and has sex with dead girl
Countess regains everything she had lost to girl and Count gives her the rose which killed girl
snow child is the shortest story in Bloody Chamber
"thrusts his virile member into the dead girl"
Countess is someone who is hard faced, who is wearing striking items
"dressed in pelts of black foxes"/ "high black shinning boots with scarlet heels"
"the countess reined in her stamping mare and watched him"
Count is someone who represents the patriarchal society
desires a girl even though he has a wife
"I wish I had a girl as black as that bird's feather"
he references a Raven- ravens are a symbolism of death-foreshadowing
girl is merely a victim of society
"she was the child of his desire and the countess hated her"
has negative impacts on both women
could indicate the rejection of love/both reject count
"she dropped it"it bites"
"she pricks her finger on the thorn ;bleeds;screams;falls"
story could be a representations of relationships e.g. mother/father/daughter
oedipus(kill one/sleep with other)/electra (penis envy)complex-Freud
'The Lady of The House of Love'
based on Dracula and sleeping Beauty
the girl in this story is a beautiful vampire
suffering from isolation/immorality
"she is so beautiful she is unnatural "
she is possibly seeking love
that's why she always wears a wedding gown
"wearing an antique bridal gown, the beautiful vampire queen sits alone in her dark"
dwells on fate of tarot cards
"wisdom, death, dissolution" tarot's read this
'lies down in an open coffin' indicating that she is waiting for death-waiting for coffin to finally be sealed
the soldier in this story is the girl's saviour
the young soldier puts his life at risk when he confronts the vampire and then puts his life at risk once again when he goes to fight in the war
pure/still a virgin
"he has the special quality of virginity"
he is quite maternal in the way he cares for the girl
"he will kiss it better for her"
the house which the story takes place in is very gothic
in an abandoned village in Romania
the girl's house is dark/scary
"derelict bedroom where a cracked mirror suspended from a wall does not reflect a presence"
the one where the little girl's grandmother becomes a wolf so the neighbours kill her
because they think she's a witch
based on Little Red Riding Hood
girl is fearless like a man
"seized her knife and turned on the beast."
it's her father's knife
this story is more about generations of women maybe
girl represents new generation of stronger and empowering women
girl takes over the gran's house and has a happy ending
"she takes over her grandmother's house ans she prospered."
"she knew the forest too well to fear it"
2.The company of werewolves
story is based on Little Red Riding Hood
a little girl sets off into the woods to visit her Grandmother's house, she meets a man he makes a bet that if he could get to granny's house before her he gets a kiss
the wolf man gets there first and eats the granny
the girls arrives and sleeps in Granny's bed with the wolf
wolf in main story is very masculine/sensual
"a very handsome young man"
"his genital, huge. Ah!"
wolf man is bad.
"devastating eyes as red as a wound"
red colour of blood-murder/virginity snatcher
the girl in the main story is a virgin
she wears a cloak which is "the invisible pentacle of her own virginity"
this could be what attracted the wolf towards her
hypnotised by the wolf.
"the forest closed upon her like a pair of jaws"
place of fear/entrapment
there are three other stories within this story
1. where a man traps a wolf/cut's his throat and paws only to find that it transforms into corpse of a man
2. witch transforms guests at a wedding into wolves
3. a man goes out to have a wee and vanishes/then his wife remarries and has kids-then first husband returns he turns into a wolf and is angry at wife for her behaviour and kills one of her kids
then he turns back into a man and is dead
3. Wolf Alice
based on Little Red Riding Hood
girl is raised by wolves and is brought back to human society
Nuns are in charge of taking care of her but find her unmanageable so hand her to Duke(who is a wolf)
girl experiences her menstrual cycle and is confused about body changes
Duke gets wounded hunting by angry widower who was supposed to be his victim
girl tends to his wolf wounds and he regains his shape as a Duke
alien to society/not a very good wolf
"her pace is not our pace"
"yet she always seemed wild impatient of restraint"-nuns
girl grows up throughout story and learns new things about herself
"her first blood bewildered her"
half wolf half man
could also be a vampire
"nothing can hurt him since he ceased to cast an image in the mirror"