Feminist Roles In The Bloody Chamber

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In The Bloody Chamber, The Tiger’s Bride and The Company of Wolves, Carter draws attention to her agenda of undercutting the stereotypical portrayal of women as victims and men as oppressors. She does this through the rewriting of patriarchal narratives, where women are often portrayed as the powerless damsel in distress and the weaker sex by introducing feminist elements such as independent and strong-willed women as well as undercutting male power and authority. Through her stories, Carter then gives a voice to express the experiences of women, making such experiences known to society where they have been previously under-represented.

In The Bloody Chamber, Carter undercuts gender stereotypes that are often associated with the portrayal
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While these heroic activities often being associated with men instead of women, Carter subverts conventional patriarchal ideologies where females are defined as demure and passive through this portrayal of a woman taking over the role of that a conventional male. In addition, the protagonist’s mother rescues her daughter by shooting ‘a single, irreproachable bullet’ and she does this ‘without a moment’s hesitation’, conveying the decisive and strong-willed nature of the protagonist’s mother, qualities women are rarely associated with in patriarchal narratives. Carter’s subversion of gender roles by using a strong and ‘indomitable’ mother figure as opposed to the fairytale stock character of a knight in shining armor who saves the damsel in distress further…show more content…
The opening line of The Tiger’s Bride, ‘My father lost me to The Beast at cards’ connotes the idea of the protagonist as a commodity that can be ‘lost’ and ‘passed from hand to hand’. She is thus reduced to a ‘mute’ object that can be ‘bartered’ with by her father, reflecting the idea of women as mere commodities who are being victimized under a patriarchal system. However Carter portrays the protagonist as refusing to let herself by victimized by the patriarchy, as seen in ‘[she] let out a raucous guffaw’. Her behavior is then a reflection of her refusal to be objectified and judged by patriarchy and in doing so, undercuts male power and authority. In The Bloody Chamber, through the character Jean-Yves, Carter quite literally subverts the male gaze by making Jean-Yves ‘blind’ and in doing so, thus puts men and women on an equal footing where neither one gender is seen as more powerful over the other. It is also notable that in all three tales, the protagonists are not explicitly named and this can be seen as a deliberate attempt on Carter’s part as a way of refusing to objectify her protagonists by imposing a fixed identity on
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