Bloody Chamber Essay

571 Words3 Pages
How does Angela Carter deal with the issue of gender in ‘The Lady of the House of Love’? Support your answer with reference to other texts or films you are aware of in Gothic genre It would seem that in ‘The Lady of the House of Love’ Angela Carter reverses the roles of gender as instead of the female being the helpless victim, she is instead the dominant and powerful character, the role usually played by the male. It would seem Carter is showing how females can break out of this routine in which they are trapped by society and take the main role; something which is also seen through her other stories such as ‘Werewolf’. Carter reverses the traditional scenario of a male vampire feeding on females by using a countess who only sucks the blood of young men and so it becomes a paradigmatic femme fatale. Instead of her being a helpless victim, she is instead taking on the role of a villain and so Carter is challenging the traditional gender role of a helpless female victim in a traditional gothic story; she seduces and murders men, much like the Count in the Bloody Chamber. So that the countess can feed on her prey, ‘she takes them by the hand and leads them to her bedroom’ where she seduces them before drinking their blood; Carter is also now challenging the gender binary and shows the opposite side to the patriarchal constraint of desire. But even so, although the countess has broken out of the female victim role, she now has a new problem of which she can’t overcome, and that is falling in love, and although she finally does, it leads to her death; ultimately it was again the male who helped and hurt her. Carter being a feminist writer has used ‘The Lady of the House of Love’ to show how women don’t need to conform to societies view and instead can take the same role as the men, something not really done often in gothic fiction. So, therefore, unlike in
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