The Bloody Chamber

             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 treat women; they never form a blueprint for utopia” (Vandermeer). Similarly another critic argues that “Carter envisages women's sensuality simply as a response to male arousal. She has no conception of women's sexuality as autonomous desire.”(Friedman) Both critics have pointed out that Carter merely presents women as objects in a patriarchal system. Yet, what they fail to mention is that she also proposes the idea that their repression is the source of their power – the female character’s sexual power is derived from their exploitation. The attainment of female subjectivity in spite of female sexual maturation, the oppression of female sexuality, the passive role of females bound in the conf...

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The Bloody Chamber. (1969, December 31). In Retrieved 05:01, January 18, 2017, from