Comparing Knowledge In Quicksand And The Bloody Chamber

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The relation between power and knowledge is a complex feature of both Quicksand and The Bloody Chamber. Power can be understood as the capabilities and influence the characters have, whereas knowledge can be discussed in terms of the understanding the characters gain through their experiences. In both texts, a perceived lack of power drives the individual pursuit of knowledge. This can be discussed in relation to Helga Crane’s decision to leave Nexus and the way in which the narrator’s desire for knowledge is nurtured. It can also be argued that in gaining knowledge both protagonists gain power, as this leads to them both having more authority. This can be discussed in relation to Helga’s reflection on her actions while she is unwell, and the…show more content…
Helga originally recognises her powerlessness to the educational structure of Nexus and leaves in pursuit of knowledge and a place she belongs, exhibiting power and possibilities. The narrator is similarly repressed by her setting and embraces the opportunity to unveil knowledge in her husband’s absence. However, the relationship between power and knowledge is not always linear; you do not need to possess power to gain knowledge. In Quicksand, Helga has the most knowledge when she is at her least powerful. Her tragedy is that she realises knowledge too late for her to have the agency to change anything. While Helga loses her agency, The Bloody Chamber shows the narrator to escape repression through the help of her mother. Knowledge is portrayed to be an end goal by both female protagonists and both give in when they come to difficult realisations. One interpretation is that the women are punished for seeking knowledge. Another is that they are faced with the result of not pushing themselves further once they arrive at the truths that sit uncomfortably with them. Helga traps herself into an oppressive fate, while the narrator choose to understand her desire for knowledge as
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