Gothic Elements Of The 's Oval Portrait And The Bloody Chamber

1754 WordsJan 22, 20168 Pages
The texts of Edgar Allan Poe and Angela Carter both contain gothic elements that frame women in their short stories. The elements used include, isolation, intensity of feeling, pursuit, vulnerability, the supernatural and the weakness of women. However, Angela Carter distorts gothic elements to make feminism and men’s awe of women a strong theme. The weakness and vulnerability of women is a common theme throughout both authors’ short stories, such as, The Oval Portrait and The Bloody Chamber. In Poe’s Oval Portrait, the woman is described as growing ‘more dispirited and weak’ every day. However, in Carter’s Bloody Chamber although weak, the female characters narrate the tale and the young girl’s mother is heroic, Poe’s women are merely weak and interchangeable objects of mystery whereas, Carter’s women are commonly isolated. For example, in The Lady of the House of Love and The Bloody Chamber where they are confined to isolated houses. The isolation theme is echoed in The Oval Portrait where the woman in the portrait has spent ‘many weeks in the dark high turret-chamber’. The first part of ‘The Bloody Chamber’, Carter sets up as a journey; a metaphor for the emotional and physical journey the young girl is experiencing as she leaves the security of her childhood home. The narrator describes her life as ‘innocent and confined’. Seeming to suggest at the start of this journey, with an intersexual echo, that there is a connection between sex, marriage and death,
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