The Magic Toyshop by Angela Carter

1954 Words8 Pages
Angela Carter wrote in various forms, she wrote novels, poetry, film scripts and she also translated the fairy tales of Charles Perrault and edited the Virago Book of Fairy Tales1. The Magic Toyshop is Angela Carter's second novel and winner of the John Llewellyn Rhys Prize (1969)2. The Magic Toyshop is a Bildungsroman, it follows the coming of age of Melanie, as she becomes aware of herself, her environment, and her own sexuality. The Magic Toyshop can in many ways be seen as following the conventions of a fairy tale and has been categorised as some as 'Magic Realism'. In a Concise Glossary of Contemporary Literary theory this has been defined as “involve the sudden incursion of fantastic or 'magical' elements into an otherwise realistic…show more content…
Melanie dreams of her future husband and tends to have a very romantic image of her future and at this time in her teenage years the most important thing to her is that of falling in love,getting married and having sex. We can see that Melanie's life is one of comfort and safety and she is able to fully indulge in her fantasies.
However it is at this point that we first begin to see the element of fantasy or magical element encroach on to what can be seen as a typical setting. Melanie one night indulging in her dreams decides to try on her mothers wedding dress and goes out into the garden at night. She seems to be overcome with the whole image of herself in the wedding dress and the dark night. She becomes overwhelmed with a felling of ecstasy “ In her carapace of white satin, she was the last, the only woman. She trembled with exaltation under the deep, blue, high arc of sky”5.
However the vast enormity of the world dawns on her and she is left feeling frightened and alone and in a panic she rushes to go back indoors to safety however she finds herself locked out. Melanie is forced into climbing the apple tree in order to get back to her room, however the dress becomes caught and is destroyed. At this stage in the novel we see that Melanie sees things
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