The Bloody Chamber Gender

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This essay will discuss the ways in which Angela Carter employs fashion as a thematic device that deconstructs rigid perceptions of gender roles in the short stories ‘The Bloody Chamber’ and ‘The Tiger’s Bride’ with regard to Entwistle’s statement. Halpin writes,

“The women of The Bloody Chamber are not simple or idealized feminist restorations. Instead, each is crafted from a dark and intricate human framework (the same from which Carter creates her male characters) that allows them to transcend conventional gender roles. Across the collection, both female and male characters have been depicted as cruel or kind, passive or possessive, victimized or villainous.” (2015:1).

Before embarking on an analysis it should be noted that there is
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The original rendition is said to have been told to convey two morals: the first, warned female readers against the dangers of curiosity; the second, warned husbands against expecting the impossible from their wives (Sheets 1991:643). Carter has however adapted the original story to appeal to the modern reader and provide some personal commentary on social issues. She also gave it her own controversial twist, by making the husband a murderer, and what some might refer to as a pervert. As Sheets accurately states, “Carter situates the story in the tradition of aesthetic sadomasochism” (Sheets 1991:643). Throughout the story the heroine notices various erotic art forms in the castle. She also realises that her husband has carefully planned their honeymoon night to resemble one of these art works. This depicts the traditional controlling nature associated with male gender stereotypes, in an exaggerated way. Notwithstanding the adaption, Carter keeps the aspect of female curiosity. The triumphant conclusion to “The Bloody Chamber” deconstructs the patriarchal roles by acknowledging female curiosity, despite previous warnings. Carter also introduces the strong female heroine, the bride’s mother, who saves the bride, instead of the traditional male brothers in “Blue Beard”. Sheets (1991:644) is of opinion that…show more content…
As the heroine states when she removes her clothing, by free will, “felt I was at liberty for the first time in my life” (Carter 2006:72). She only did this after the Beast revealed himself in his true form to her first. It therefore creates an equal status between the two characters, instead of a power play. Here the heroine transgresses the traditional gender role by taking her femininity into her own hands. She enjoys this feeling of liberation to such an extent that she decides to escape from the oppressive world under her gambling father by using a replica doll to replace her. “I will dress her in my own clothes, wind her up, send her back to perform the part of my father 's daughter” (Carter
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