In the “Little Red Riding Hood” tales and variants, the forest is always the setting in which the girl comes in contact with the wolf. She is put into a situation in which she is not used to, and she must fight to survive. In “The Company of Wolves” it is explained to us that wolves are very clever. They lurk in the forest and prey on those that are weaker than themselves. Aside from the fact that wolves are conniving beasts, the narrator in this story warns us that the worst situation is to run into a wolf that is “more than he seems” (Carter 111).
A young girl is deceived by a wolf, leading to the death of the young girl and her grandmother. ‘The wicked wolf threw himself upon Little Red Riding Hood and ate her up’. The combination of storyline and the side-moral acts as a moralising force to emphasise the need for safety and trust for the responder.
Along her journey through the woods, she meets a wolf, who asks where she is going and why. Red tells him exactly where grandmother lives. He, the wolf, then tells Red that he would go too, but he would go another way and see who gets the first. The wolf arrives first, and fooled the grandmother into thinking it was Little Red Riding Hood at the door. She allows him entrance and he immediately eats her for he is hungry.
Analysis and interpretation paper on “The Company of Wolves” In the 1970s many female writers started to question the differences between men and women in society. One writer who did this as well was Angela Carter. She rewrote an old famous fairy tale into the short story “The Company of Wolves”, in which she breaks with several with norms by using different symbols and the topic, feminism. She uses different characters, who are very norm-breaking for the time when the story was written in. By using an old fairy tale and making a new version of it, Angela Carter gives a perfect insight into how the topic feminism can be transferred, into an old famous fairy tale.
She is associated with a lot of animalistic imagery, especially relating to dogs and wolves or the devil. These in themselves are contrasting, as animals refer to the known and the supernatural to the unknown. Nonetheless, the images conjured up as we hear her "wolfish cries" are frightful and make Bertha nothing if not an object of fear, from "goblin" to "wolfish". References to "demon" relate to Hell, which links to fire. Bertha plays to this character when she sets Rochester's room on fire (“Tongues of flame darted round the bed: the curtains were on fire”).
Women characters often used as plot device to present fear. Or showed male fears of the strong, dominant woman who were portrayed as a predator and punished. Carter places women at the centre of the text – texts such as Werewolf are female dominated. She explores the use of women as victims and creates a brave, unafraid girl. She explores the use of the female predator and the prejudice surrounding this.
‘The role of female vampires in the novel is to warn of the dangers of female sexuality’ consider the presentation of the female vampires in Dracula in the light of this comment Many may argue that the novel Dracula highlights the suppression and belittlement of women during the 19th Century. In Victorian England, women’s sexual behaviour was dictated by society’s rigid expectations. A Victorian woman was either a virgin or else she was a wife and mother. If she was neither of these, she was considered a whore, and thus of no consequence to society This idea is reinforced by Stoker with the contrast of the ‘brilliant white teeth, that shone like pearls against the ruby of their voluptuous lips,’ the virginal white is contrasted with the hellish red of their lips shows the battle the women went through suppressing and hiding their sexual desires. Stoker’s choose of women as the temptresses may be a warning to the women of the Victorian era to beware about pushing the boundaries of their sexuality.
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.
Angela Carter challenges the reader's expectations of women as weak and dependent characters by showing us that the females within her story have the ability to possess characteristics such as power and dominance. From a feminist reading of the text, it may be concluded that at the beginning of the story females are viewed as objects to be consumed. An example of this is the innocent, young protagonist who is warned never to "stray from the path" for the danger of being "eaten" by the wolves. However, towards the end of the story, the reader finds that the victimised girl seizes control of the situation she finds herself in, and ultimately becomes the consumer of the wolf itself. This is evident in her eating the "lice form his pelt" and in the role reversal of "his fearful head".
Likewise, there is a different ending in 'The Company of Wolves', as the girl tames the wolf unlike the traditional tale of the wolf eating the girl and being rescued by the huntsmen who uses his axe to kill the wolf and save Little Red Riding Hood and her grandmother. Many of the stories deal with a woman's role in a relationship and marriage, their sexuality, coming of age (all the girls are virgins) and corruption. The stories begin with a patriarchal society, but show how the balance of power within the relationship changes over time. Carter expresses her own views of equality through these stories, with several feminist ideas, although some critics have said it isn't feminist enough. Beginning with 'The Bloody Chamber', the first story in the book, we can see that there is a lot of narrative with little dialogue.