Bloody Chamber - Gothic Females

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To what extent does Angela Carter draw on the Gothic tradition in her representation of female characters in The Bloody Chamber and what is the significance of these representations? Angela Carter uses gothic tradition and conventions in her depiction of female characters in The Bloody Chamber in order to break down stereotypes and patriarchal expectations; she recreates traditional gothic tales into ones which are both eerie and shocking for her modern readers, in the same way that old gothic tales were to Victorian readers. Carter’s female victims come to be empowered by embracing their passions and work to go against patriarchal rule, acknowledging their own sexual desires. Female characters can be presented as victims of male tyranny in The Bloody Chamber. Within The Bloody Chamber, the protagonist brings about the attention of female sexuality to the reader through the loss of her innocence “I remember how…country of marriage” she is experiencing a journey from her innocence and individuality to being the possession of a man. The “unguessable country of marriage” is the female moving into an unknown journey making her vulnerable; however, she expresses a sense of excitement thus making her not wholly the victim. Animalistic connotations such as “his kiss with tongue and teeth” present the male as forceful and all powerful, and his behaviour towards her shows her as a victim of his actions consuming her. Similarly, in the Snow Child the young girl can be seen as victim as “I wish I had a girl as white as snow… the child of his desires” displays how the count is wishing for purity and youthfulness, his title bestows an aristocratic status over the young girl that allows him to have complete control over her. This may be a comment on how patriarchy shapes women in the image of men’s desires. In The Company of Wolves, Carter presents female independence in
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