"the Oppressive Power of Patriarchy in Angela Carter's Novels"
778 Words4 Pages
We can read Angela Carter as both entertaining and a critique of constructions and presentations of power, gender, sexuality and construction of gendered identities. First we will consider the oppressive and destructive power of patriarchy which is the social system in which men are regarded as the authority within the family and society. Afterwards in the next chapter we will investigate how Carter's heroines succeed in constructing their femininity and their gendered identities.
Let us look at a typical piece of Carter' s writing The Magic Toyshop and its specific
focus on critiquing the oppressive power of patriarchy that is represented through the oppressive character of Uncle Phillip. The novel narrates the story of Melanie and her
two siblings who are moved after the sudden death of their parents to the strange domain of the puppet maker's house, Uncle Phillip, where their freedom is snuffed out by his
The Victorian domineering Uncle Philip is citied throughout the text .All the readers know of him his brutality and his queer puppet shows. It is apparent from the first glance that he pulls the strings creating a tyrannical hold over the household .He aims to turn his hapless extended family into puppets, and control Melanie's sexuality when he sent Finn to rape her and also when he tries to represent her as a puppet through Leda and Swan rape scene.
In this sense, Melanie is forced to be a human puppet to Uncle Philip's fantasy of power
which belongs to her magical realism technique with combining both real and magic.
Uncle Philip's perversion is pointed out at the moment when he inspects Melanie's looks before the performan...
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... up, much of Carter's work scrutinizes ways in which masculinity is presented through archetypal patriarchs, critiquing constructions of man's power over women and the reductive power of reductionism. Carter in her above writings flies in the face of patriarchy, or oppressive male power.
Carter, Angela. The Magic Toyshop. London: Virago Press, 1981.
-------------. Nights at the Circus. London: Vintag, 1984.
-------------. Wise Children . London: Vintag, 1992 .
Alexander, Flora. Contemporary Women Novelists. London :Advision of
Hodder & Stoughton, 1989.
Bowers, Maggie Ann. Magical Realism. London and New York: Routledge, 2004 .
Haffenden, John. Novelists in Interview. USA: Methuen & Co. Ltd, 1985.
Gamble, Sara. Angela Carter.Notes from the Front Line. Britain: Edinburgh, 1997.