The Bloody Chamber by Angela Carter is written proof that fairy tales actually do come true. Carter very skillfully takes the essence of the fairytale Bluebeard, upon which it is based, and recreates it so that its social context becomes significant to modern day. In doing so, an element of duality is inscribed in her stories. This duality, alongside the evidence of magical realism, surrealism, postmodernism, feminism and the incorporation of Fantasy, Science Fiction, and Gothic genres creates an environment in The Bloody Chamber that is both rooted in the past and alludes to present society. It is for that reason that in this essay I will discuss how Angela Carter incorporates the aforementioned categories to inform her readers of the moral and social injustices that she perceives while simultaneously creating fictional situations wherein the social norms that she views as unjust are challenged.
Angela Carter’s usage of the fairytale genre allows her to recreate her own modern fairytales in order to mirror social reality; All the while she incorporates specific literary techniques, endowing it with her own meaning. Jeff VanderMeer suggests in a documentary that “Carter’s stories and novels always examine the ways men
Carter presents her readers with a protagonist who exists in a vacuum of female virginity and lacking sexual conceptions. She has no conception of women's sexuality as autonomous desire. What makes this scene even more bizarre is that she comes in a horse, an allusion to knights in traditional fairytales. The bride says, "In the midst of my bridal triumph, I felt a pang of loss as if, when he put the gold band on my finger, I had, in some way, ceased to be her child in becoming his wife" (7). As she redefines classical stories through the integration of feminism and strong female characters she captures both the essence of the tale she parodies and the society she allegorizes. It is paradoxical however that the strength of their characters overrides (overwhelms) their passivity, leading them to be inertly happy, an in almost the same situation economically as they began. After all, their relationship is clearly not one founded upon physical attraction - more so sensual. Similarly another critic argues that "Carter envisages women's sensuality simply as a response to male arousal. It is apparent that the bride is in the know, virginity lost, and even finding male arousal - all this occurs whilst being away from her mother. In doing so also creates a platform upon which the issues she feels so strongly about can be resolved. The bride"tms eventual marriage to a blind man is quite befitting. In following the bride"tms progress in the marriage her financial and material acquisitions are also observed. She is a woman without fame, wealth, or notoriety. The bride and her mother, aside from a number of adjectives such as "virgin of the arpeggios" (36), that the martyr describes her with, represent the birth of her being at the hands of male desire.