The Bloody Chamber Essays

The Bloody Chamber Essays

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Angela Carter was a writer in the 1970s during the third wave of feminism that influenced and encouraged personal and social views in her writing. This is demonstrated through her own interpretation of fairy tales in The Bloody Chamber. She combines realism and fantasy to create ‘magic realism’ whilst also challenging conventions of stereotypical gender roles.

The Bloody Chamber is a remake of the original fairytale Bluebeard; however Angela Carter rewrites the fairy tale using her feminist views to raise issues concerning roles in relationships and marriage, sexuality and corruption. Carter challenges the classic role of the male protagonist and the female victim; she does this by changing the stereotypes of the traditional fairy tale’s males as the saviours and females as the victims. She challenges the fairy tale’s traditional sex roles when she replaces the brother of the bride for the mother as the rescuer, “one hand on the reins of the rearing horse while the other clasped my fathers service revolver” this demonstrates to the reader that women are as strong as men, even stronger and can take on a expected man’s role and make it their own therefore challenging the stereotypical gender roles of Men. In addition to this as a feminist, Carter uses anti-essentialism to present that time, power and position are the details that makes a man act like he does and a woman like she does. This is revealed through the setting, France 1790’s, were men and women were not equal. The Marquis in this story is presented as a wealthy older man who has the ability to seduce and retrieve what he wants, “his world” this emphasizes the power he maintains and it gives him ownership not only of his wealth but the young bride and even possibly the...


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...only known as a funeral flower. This again foreshadows the young bride’s death before her allowance of corruption. The mark on her forehead is a symbol of her mistake, a mistake she is never allowed to forget, this can be linked to the view that women are never allowed to forget a mistake made by them. Angela Carter again shows the position of women in society; once a mistake is made you are an outcast in society. This can also be linked to the biblical reference of Cane, ‘him who became an outcast’.

Overall The Bloody Chamber Conveys the message that women and men in society are still not viewed as equal. By rewriting the original fairytale Bluebeard Angela Carter has revealed explicitly that women can be as superior as men however Angela Carter challenges the stereotypical gender roles presenting an alternative ending, one that could be viewed as acceptable.

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