Essay on The Bloody Chamber

3593 Words Apr 27th, 2011 15 Pages
‘The role of women in the gothic genre is as victims always subjected to male authority’, compare and contrast to which this interpretation is relevant to your three chosen texts.
By Kristina Addis

Within My Last Duchess, The Bloody Chamber and Dracula, there is evidence to suggest that women within the gothic genre as portrayed as victims of male authority, as well as evidence to disprove this argument, instead suggesting that it is the women within the Gothic genre which makes themselves victims. ‘Angela Carter is particularly interested in the portrayal of women as victims of male aggression as a limiting factor in the feminist perspective of the time’[i] Carter, with her modern twist on traditional fairytales places a
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At this point she simply finds no other way but to accept the stereotypical view of a young innocent girl in a relationship with an experienced man, another example of women being victims of male authority. The key to the bloody chamber is the key to her selfhood and subjugation that will ultimately kill her. ‘The protagonist’s husband clearly considers her an object of exchange and plans to inscribe upon her his continuing tale of punishment for wives’ disobedience’[viii] again showing how women make themselves victims of their own behaviour, Helen Simpson’s interpretation is that ‘I really cant see what’s wrong with finding out about what the great male fantasies about women are’ [ix] The heroine fights against the victimisation, and indeed reverses role with the male in the story, as it is Marquis who dies and it is the female who leaves this chamber and finds happiness. The Snow Child, another short story within The Bloody Chamber, is ambiguous. In this small story there are two victims, both of them women, in this case the bloody chamber could relate to the hole in the snow that the countess and count ride past, or it could relate to the vagina and virginity of the girl. This expresses how the role of the women within the gothic genre is ultimately as victims, sometimes through their naivety and innocence and sometimes through male authority. The count sees both of the bloody chambers present as objects for his pleasure, therefore