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Close Reading of "The Bloody Chamber" pages 11 to top of 15

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´╗┐Antonia JaiyeolaNorma The Bloody Chamber The Bloody Chamber pages 11 to top of 15 In this extract the unnamed narrator and the Marquis consummate their marriage. We see this build up to their consummation where the Marquis teases her, enjoying her discomfort. Left about in the ?library? she discovers a ?Rops? picture which is symbolic of their own relationship yet, ironically she is not aware of the similarities in her own relationship. [Delighted to have found her entranced with what she had seen], he relishes in her naivety and finally takes her virginity. [Leaving her feeling exposed, he announces his departure for America.] Within these four pages, Carter uses their sexual encounter to explore patriarchy through the characteristics of the Marquis and his control and dominant treatment of the girl, reinforcing the Gothic nature of Carter?s writing. Carter begins by using a simile to compare the girl to food: ?gourmand that he was, as if he were stripping the leaves of an artichoke.? The fact that the Marquis is described as ?gourmand? implies that he is an expert at what he does and therefore takes advantage of his power. ...read more.


Carter explores liminal states through the unnamed narrator and her transformation from a girl to a woman. As the narrator waits for her husband?s return she displays child like qualities as she ?flung down the lid in a little fury of disappointment? and naivety in her reaction to the ?engraving? on the book: ?make me gasp.? She also demonstrates signs of liminal state in her own shock for desire: ?I was aghast to feel myself stirring?. Reinforcing how inexperienced she is as she didn?t know she could have such a feeling. Liminal state is heightened in the realisation that she is no longer a virgin: ?I had bled.? The loss of her virginity seems to empower her on the one hand ?I had seen his face without his mask? but on the other leaves her in a state of fear and insecurity ?cradling my spent body in my arms.? The verb ?cradling? symbolises her rebirth into womanhood yet is symbolic of the child and the innocence she left behind. We get an image of a baby in a mother?s womb so fragile and new in a new environment like the narrator. ...read more.


Carter also uses similes to warn the narrator and reinforce an ominous atmosphere when she had put the ?chocker? on; ?it was cold as ice and chilled me.? The connotations of ?cold? are death, lack of emotion and evil which are all symbolic of the characteristics of the Marquis. The chocker represents an ancestor of the Marqui escaping death which could mirror the narrators near death experience itself. The fact that the choker is red reinforces the ominous atmosphere as the connotation of red is blood which therefore reminds us of death. At the end of the extract the Marquis and the unnamed narrator consummate their marriage. The consummation itself creates a foreboding atmosphere as it is presented as a ritual. Everything surrounding them is more important than the girl as the Marquis made her put on the ?choker? and ?kissed those blazing rubies? before kissing her, foreshadowing her impending death. Even ?the orgasm? is written as a definite article in the extract reinforcing the importance of the ritual rather than the girl. Quotes word count: 103 Word count: 1073 ...read more.

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