‘’Consider the View That Carter’s Tales, Are, Above All, an Exploration of Fear.’’

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Carter uses the exploration of fear throughout characters and setting through the gothic concept of fear however there are other underlying themes that are prominent and more significant in the short stories such as female identity/empowerment and self-development/transformation. Especially shown within the short stories of The Company of the Wolves and The Werewolf. It may be argued that the isolated setting in The Company of Wolves could promote fear, particularly as the narrator states ‘you are always in danger in the forest’, which certainly creates tension and a sense of weariness due to the description of the isolation within said forest. However, the gothic setting of an isolated forest is used more symbolically than literally. This is because, as in The Werewolf and The Company of Wolves, the forest represents the girls’ journey towards adulthood. The Werewolf states ‘in her grandmother’s house; she prospered’, which implies that her initial journey through the possibly terrifying setting of an isolated forest was actually necessary to her enlightenment. Thus Carter used setting not to invoke a sense of fear and terror, but to provide the base point for the more important theme of self-development, or the growth of maturity. The exploration of fear in the short story of The Werewolf can be shown through the description of the wolf itself with ‘’red eyes and running, grizzled chops.’’ Which therefore implies the danger within the animal itself, as it is incontrollable of its actions. ‘Red eyes’ suggesting anger and fury within the eyes, with bloodlust, ‘grizzled’ also implying an angered tone therefore complying an amalgamation of the animal itself. The fear of the little girl is not presented as it stereotypically would, with a ‘’mountaineer’s child [would have] died of fright’’ the girl’s characterisation is a role reversal as she ‘’seized her knife and
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