Fairy Tales In Angela Carter's The Bloody Chamber

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Angela Carter’s story The Bloody Chamber heavily tampers with a reader’s prior knowledge of the fairy tale genre by manipulating expected conventions in order to showcase the dark side of fairy tales. Carter challenges the genre’s aspects of happy endings, of the mother figure, and of the masking of women’s desires by giving each a twist in the story in order to truly depict how fairy tales are not just a tale of a dream come true. The rite of passage in fairy tales is often shown as something spectacular and morally good, however, Carter subtly demolishes that expectation in her story, which is very dependent on the readers’ prior knowledge of the genre, and thus allows for the readers to see the darkness that lurks within fairy tales rather…show more content…
Young girls and women are expected to be innocent and pure, following the male lead and unable to really think for themselves. In Carter’s story, however, not only are the curiosities and desires of the narrator mentioned, they are written with such dramatic and illustrious vocabulary, as the narrator states that she “flung down the lid in a little fury of disappointment” (Carter 22) wondering what she should do now after her husband said he’d rather wait a bit longer before sleeping with her (Carter 22). Moreover, the narrator continues to ask herself “how shall [she] pass the long, sea-lit hours until [her] husband beds [her]” (Carter 23) in order to explicitly emphasize the humanly side of women; a side that exists but is constantly suppressed in order to meet societal, and thus, readers’ expectations. This in itself is the dark side of fairy tales – an unmentioned part, as if to keep it hidden in the dark, so to speak. Carter plays against the trope of innocence and purity of girls by allowing readers to know exactly what the female lead is thinking with the use of a narrator being the female lead herself. This is an important aspect because Carter assumes that readers’ prior knowledge is that females, especially young girls, are innocent and don’t have any sexual desires whatsoever. With Carter’s vivid descriptions, readers come to know that this is not the case and that readers are constantly kept in the dark when reading other fairy

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