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Bloody Chamber Essay

  • Submitted by:
  • on December 3, 2013
  • Category: English
  • Length: 538 words

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Below is an essay on "Bloody Chamber" from Anti Essays, your source for research papers, essays, and term paper examples.

The phrase ‘fairy tale’, coined in the late 17th century by Madame d’Aulnoy, is a term used to identify a type of short story typically featuring mythical creatures, supernatural occurrences, and, perhaps most importantly, an underscoring moral message aimed towards the society from which it originates. The content of such tales generally remains fairly innocent and appropriate for child readers, but within Carter’s ‘The Bloody Chamber’, the typical conventions of a fairy tale become inverted and corrupt. Cater, in her own words, ‘extracts the latent content from the traditional stories’ and thus introduces some harsher, unpalatable realities to her work.
One of the most obvious deviations from the typical fairy tale conventions lies in Carter’s portrayal of her characters, namely the Marquis. Male figures in fairy tales are often shown to be masculine, authoritative, chivalrous and are generally viewed of as the ‘hero’ who saves the vulnerable female protagonist. Carter’s own depiction of the dominant male within ‘The Bloody Chamber’ can be seen to follow these stereotypes to some extent, as the Marquis is ‘rich as Croesus’, a ‘big man’ with a ‘resonant voice’ who showers the female protagonist with gifts and occasional ‘soft consolations’. However, as the story progresses, the true nature of the Marquis starts to become apparent.   The Marquis is likened to funeral lilies which, as Merja Makinen states, portrays him as ‘unnaturally white and waxy…conveying the mask of his social demeanour…with eyes that convey ‘absolute absence of light’’.   Not only can the link to lilies allude to the Marquis’s impenetrable and almost unnaturally solid composure through their ‘waxy’ exterior, but the flower themselves hold connotations of funerals and death, which from the very outset of the story acts as a subtle foreboding hint towards what is to come. The ‘absolute absence of light’ within his eyes implies the absence of virtue or conscience, as ‘light’ is frequently equated...

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