Book Review of The Bloody Chamber and Other Stories by Angea Carter

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Angela Carter’s ” The Bloody Chamber And Other Stories” is a collection of short stories written in the style of traditional fairy tales. The thrust of these stories is the objectification of women. Carter uses the fairy tale style as a way of exploring female power, desire and sexuality and adeptly uses the fantasy framework to explore feminist ideas.
Throughout these stories, young females are portrayed as passive beings in the beginning of the stories but it becomes clear in each that passivity is not celebrated in women.
The first of these stories, “The Bloody Chamber” is based on the Bluebeard tale in which his wife is forbidden from entering a particular room in the castle and when she does discovers the dead bodies of his
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In “Wolf-Alice” the heroine begins to menstruate and transforms from the wolf-girl to becoming more human than animal. In many of these stories the hero or heroine stand on the edge of two worlds – the animal/human or the male/female. While these worlds appear to be opposites it becomes clear that acceptance of the other side of them, the side that is being denied, that saves the individual from a dark and unhappy fate.
The objectification and subjugation of women is a theme throughout most of these stories. In “The Bloody Chamber”, for example, the Marquis attempts to objectify and hence subjugate the heroine as he had done with his previous wives. He murdered them and then mounted their bodies in a bloody chamber. His plans for the heroine include the same fate.
In “The Courtship of Mr. Lyon” the father uses his daughter as payment for debt and similarly in The Tiger’s Bride, the daughter is chattel and her gambler father loses her to The Beast. In “The Snow Bride” the heroine doesn’t speak except when asked and after she dies the count rapes her dead body. And in the Wolf stories which were based on Little Red Riding Hood, the heroine is seen as an object to be devoured. One departure was in “The House of Love” in which the heroine objectifies the man.
Throughout the telling of these stories Carter uses symbolism. Her use of mirrors is a way of crating the sense that the principal characters are on the edge of one reality and another

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