A CRITIQUE OF THE SNOW CHILD, TAKEN FROM ANGELA CARTER’S THE BLOODY CHAMBER.

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A CRITIQUE OF THE SNOW CHILD, TAKEN FROM ANGELA CARTER’S THE BLOODY CHAMBER.

Throughout ’The Bloody Chamber’, Angela Carter takes the highly

successful conventions that belong to once innocent fairy tales, and

rips them unremorsefully from their seemingly sound foundations to

create a variety of dark, seductive, sensual stories, altering the

landscapes beyond all recognition and rewarding the heroines with the

freedom of speech thus giving them license to grab hold of the reigns

of the story.

The Snow Child is one such story by Carter, where connotations seen in

fairytales such as ‘Sleeping Beauty’ and ‘Little Red Riding Hood’ are

in evidence and are fused together accompanied by the emergence of

feminism to the foreground of the story, numerous examples of rich and

highly effective and evocative symbolism and a certain element of

sexuality.

In essence, The Snow Child tells of a Count and his Countess who are

riding on horseback when the Count suddenly expresses his desire for a

girl with ‘skin as white as snow’, ‘lips as red as blood’ and ‘hair as

black as a raven’. She then materialises before their very eyes, after

which, the Count lifts her up, and sits her in front of him on his

saddle. The jealousy oozes from the Countess, who after seeing this,

has only one train of thought - how can she rid herself of The Snow

Child? The Countess’s place is usurped by the child as is symbolised

by the transfer of the Countess's clothes onto her, leaving the

Countess naked. Eventually the child dies and the Count gets off his

horse and rapes her before the dead body of the girl melts away and

consequently, the Countess is re-clothed. This narrative clearly

exposes how the heroines of fairy tales are the const...

... middle of paper ...

...s she who demands the girl to ‘Pick me

one’ when passing a ‘bush of roses’ - the rose that she picks

eventually kills her as she ‘pricks her finger on the thorn’. As a

result she ‘bleeds; screams; falls.’ Bizarrely, the ‘weeping’ Count

gets off his horse and proceeds to rape the corpse in a horrific act

of necrophilia - all the while, the Countess ‘watched him narrowly’,

hinting at a spiteful evil glare.

‘He was soon finished’.

In my opinion, it is at this point where the Count loses the little

respect the reader would have had for him and suggests a certain

degree of incapability on his part.

Finally, the Countess ‘stroked her fur’ with ‘her long hands’ whilst

the Count ‘picked up the rose, bowed and handed it to his wife’,

suggesting a transfer of power at this late stage in the story. She

drops the rose after touching it, declaring, ‘It bites!’.

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