How does carter represent gender and explore gender issues to create meaning in The Bloody Chamber?
The Bloody Chamber can be seen as a feminist adaptation of the original fairy tale Bluebeard. Carter breaks through the traditional stereotypical gender associations that society places on women and men, usually emphasised in traditional fairy tales.
Angela Carter creates an interesting interpretation of the stigmas thrust upon gender roles within the Bloody Chamber. We see from the beginning of the text that the first person narrator creates a feminine perspective for the forthcoming events, challenging the fairy tale norm of a neutral third person narrator (traditionally a male). By doing so this creates a biased tone within the novel, which in this case is from the Marquis wife thus allowing a feminine view point to be portrayed across to the reader empowering the woman. However Carter doesn’t use this feminine narrator to empower women or even challenge their stereotypes but instead succumbs to the typical gothic genre of women being inferior to men. The nameless narrator we are introduced to, gives each reader a slightly different impression of her, is she this weak and innocent girl? “I had in some way, ceased to be her child in becoming his wife.” Here Angela Carter uses “her child” and “his wife” to state possession suggesting that the narrator is merely an object that gets passed along from person to person. An alternative point of interpretation of the narrator is that by leaving her mother’s side she has been willed “away from girlhood” and has grown into a woman this can display the liberation of the narrator maturing, as she has left her mother behind and is now taking control of he...
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...n women. Carter purposely remains in a neutral view point when discussing gender themes never enforcing ideas of gender upon readers just exploring what we already see within society. Through her narrative Carter brings forth questions of gender ideas, by making the reader query what they perceive as social norms. We have examples of this through the dynamic and empowering ending with the narrator’s mother killing the Marquis thus representing the end of patriarchy. This challenges the idea that a male character in which the traditional fairy tale Bluebeard has of a male figure saving the “the damsel in distress” The act of feminine power in the climax of the novel breaks away from all gothic traditions. Furthermore with the phallic symbol of the “father’s gun” this represent the subversion of gender roles inviting the reader to compare the Marquis with the mother.
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