Essay on The Bloody Chamber by Angela Carter

2054 Words9 Pages
There is plenty of opportunity for interpretation in Carter’s writing, particularly in her book ‘The Bloody Chamber’ which is commonly considered to be her masterwork, brimming with intertextualities and ambiguities. Some may find her work to be excessively violent or savage, perhaps even alienating. Yet others may have found this no-holds-barred approach to be exhilarating and refreshing in comparison to other authors of her time. In her re-writing of Perrault and Beaumont’s classic tales, Carter proposes a reading of several well-known stories with intent to unveil through a feminist perspective the ideological content they present. “The Bloody Chamber” is her take on the tale of Bluebeard; “The Werewolf” is her variation of the tale of…show more content…
This in itself begins to uncover a deeper meaning to her literature; both obvious and latent in ways which create a curiosity to analyse the text in-depth. With ‘The Bloody Chamber’ collection, Carter made a clear attempt to demythologise classic fairy tales, using them not only to deconstruct traditional masculinity, but also to highlight liberation and re-evaluate the female standpoint within a patriarchal society. Carter herself argued that although 18th century aristocratic writers who penned these tales sprinkled in some morality in order to convert them into suitable parables for children, the darkness of their content and belittlement towards women remained. Carter (2013, page unknown) To counter this, her stories restored the female psyche of her protagonists by rewarding their active sexuality rather than punishing it into passiveness or misogynistic suppression.
It would be unfair to disregard the notion of ‘gross repellence’ altogether, as the book is most certainly populated with surreal and grotesque material. Carter’s baroque and parodist take on fairy tales outlines the darkness of grotesque literature. She uses vulgar language “..his prick, curved upwards like the scimitar he held” Carter (1995, page 17] to coincide with scenes of perverseness, torture, incest, murder, sadomasochism, among other themes which in general are considered to be
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