The Bloody Chamber Essay
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The major sense of desperation arises when the heroine enters the bloody chamber in her newly wedded husbands castle. The impact of this moment is powerful because up to now the bride is portrayed as a nave blushing bride. At this point it can be sensed that death awaits her. Once she passes the ill-lit corridor she crosses the boundary into the realm of death, mutilation, blood and horror. The passage leading up to this point has been thoroughly described by Carter.
Angela Carter goes as far as to personify the chamber walls, “they gleamed as if they were sweating with fright. ”
Initially the narrative begins in an excited garbled state, but as the description becomes detailed it invokes a sense of immediacy. At the height of suspense we are led to the dead corpse with, “the dead lips smiled” making the situation even more drastic. Carter then strangely begins to describe the surroundings with elegant imagery, “yet the skull was still so beautiful, had shapes with sheer planes…. ” As the bride becomes familiar with her surroundings there is a growing sense of tension and when she finally comes face to face with the previous bride she is overwhelmed and is forced to escape the horrors.
The imagery used at this point is particularly gruesome and highlights the use of dismal situations by Angela Carter, “She was pierced, not by one but by one hundred spikes. ” Angela Carters use of desperate circumstances transforms the fairy tale conventions beyond its boundaries and into the realm of gothic fantasy. Carter also uses sustained periods of tense feelings to create an atmosphere of pressure fear. Also by adding horrific detail and descriptive references to sexuality the story no longer fits into the classic fairy tale genre.
Angela Carter makes good use of narrative, plots, imagery and language to create scenes in horrific detail that helps to capture the reader’s attention. Angela Carter also uses unpromising situations in ‘The Tigers Bridei?? to capture the audience. The Tigers Bride is a reworking of beauty and the Beast. Angela Carter tries to engage the reader by using language and imagery; in fact the daughter is not disgusted by the tiger but by his mask. Carter also uses alliteration with the soft sound of s making the description of the beast sound comforting where in reality he is far from it, “He must bathe himself in scent, soak his shirt….
” The heroines reaction to the beastsisituation is pity and she confronts her fear by exposing herself to the beast as well. The actual moment of the tiger’s nakedness has a powerful impact on beauty. This can be supported by, “The annihilating vehemence of his eyes, like twin suns. ” Beauty’s response to the beast’s naked form is, “I felt my breast’s ripped apart as if I suffered a marvellous wound. ” The final transformation occurs when Beauty joins the tiger in his own environment, where the laws of the material world have no meaning.
This is a key point where all the disturbed emotions become resolved. This can be proven when beauty says, I, white, shaking, raw approaching him as if offering, in myself, the key to a peaceable kingdom in which his appetite need not be my extinction. Carters use of a desperate situation where the heroine is not a victim but a character that is strong and in control, takes this story away from the traditional convention of fairytales. Also Beauty’s transformation takes this genre into the realm of fantasy. The strong references to sexuality also go against the conventions of fairy tales.
In the climax of the story where the situation seems to become desperate and hopeless, Carter empowers beauty. Consequently beauty is able to control her desires. I believe by doing this Carter can manipulate the structure and rules of the genre. Cartersiuse of desperate situations and emotional instability totally contradicts the fairy Carters use of the above techniques takes apart the readers expectations of this genre, leaving them open minded to almost anything. Ultimately Carter thus keeps the reader interested and intrigued.