Angela Carter, the Snow Child Symbolism Essay

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Some readers may suggest that ‘The Snow Child’ is a simple one dimensional Gothic narrative, whilst others might argue that it is a complex allegory. What is your response to the text? Carter expresses many aspects of the gothic genre in her short story ‘The Snow Child’. However the play doesn’t merely consist of gothic themes such as the supernatural, incest or the sublime, like many critics may suggest, but relies on an allegory which by definition can make the narrative much more than what is perceived as being ‘one dimensional’ “Carter says of her stories in ‘The Bloody Chamber’ that allegory is intended1, but also that she keeps ‘an entertaining surface2’ , that you ‘Don’t have to read them as a system of signification if you…show more content…
Subsequently, the count appears a much more powerful figure in the story, predominantly because of the gender of the character. Rowe states that “fairy-tales perpetuate the patriarchal status quo by making female subordination seem a romantic desirable, indeed an inescapable fate”14 This implies that the females in fairytales are often created to ‘appear’ in control due to the dramatizing of the ‘fairytale’ genre, where in fact it is simply superficial and the truth of the matter is that the male will always be in power. Because of the magical fairytale genre and the supernatural elements to the tale such as when “her boots leapt off the Countess's feet and on to the girl's legs”15 it presents Carter with the opportunity to “Explore the theme of psychic transformation, liberating her protagonists from conventional gender roles”16 This suggests that because of the magical sensations that a fairytale brings to a narrative then traditional gender roles are dismissed. This allows Carter to make the countess appear more masculine at the end of the narrative, looking down on the Count while she “reined in her stamping mare and watched him narrowly”17 and the Count appear inferior and more feminine; “Weeping, the Count got off his horse.”18 This is stereotypical in many other tales, The Evil Stepmothers in both Snow White and Cinderella and the men below them are presented as being more feminine. She presents the women in the story as “other
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