• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

'In The Bloody Chamber, childhood fairytales become the stuff of adult nightmares.' How far do you agree with this statement.

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

´╗┐In The Bloody Chamber, childhood fairytales become the stuff of adult nightmares.? It is instantly evident that the stories in The Bloody Chamber have been written by Carter in order to shock the reader, as they do contain many elements which are widely associated with fear and nightmares. The stories in The Bloody Chamber are re-workings of traditional fairytales, but it should not always be assumed that the original ?childhood? fairytales did not possess any themes or dark imagery related to what may be related to an adult nightmare. In fact, it can be argued that many of the childhood fairytales did contain controversial elements, such as an exploration of sexuality, but they were masked by seemingly innocent characters and morals. Every individual story in The Bloody Chamber does deal with issues which may be considered the stuff of adult nightmares; the themes explored, symbols incorporated and even the language used creates an eerie aura which are likely to affect the adult mind, and in this respect they can be compared to an adult nightmare. A nightmare can be defined as ?A dream arousing feelings of intense fear, horror, and distress.?, and The Bloody Chamber includes all of these. Fear is felt by the reader as a result of the intense descriptions present and language used throughout the stories; the settings are described to minute details, creating an atmospheric and vivid image in the mind of the reader. ...read more.

Middle

When considering the makings of both a childhood fairytales and adult nightmares, it becomes clear that both deal with similar issues. Carter writes in the introduction to The Bloody Chamber that ?I was taking the latent content of those traditional stories and using that; and the latent content is violently sexual?. She is stating how rather than writing adult ?versions? of the stories, she has in fact exposed the dark themes which are explored in fairytales, but masked by their childhood associations. At first it may seem like there is an opposition between both childhood fairytales and adult nightmares, but in fact they are similar and rather than having been transformed into adult nightmares, they are being revealed as adult nightmares. One example of this is ?Bluebeard?, the fairytale which ?The Bloody Chamber? is linked to. The original fairytale should not be classes as childish as it is about a young girl who is married to a wealthy aristocrat who has a dark secret - he murders his wives and hangs them from hooks upon walls. Carter extracts the narrative from this story but builds upon it, as she links the adult themes and fairytale together, extracting the shocking latent content from ?Bluebeard?, allowing it to form a whole new story which is a comment on gender complying with her feminist views, as it portrays the objectification of women. ...read more.

Conclusion

In some cases, this innocent attraction to the powerful male character can lead to their downfall, which is displayed in ?The Erl-King?. This sense of doom is present in other gothic texts such as ?Frankenstein?, where Victor?s actions lead to the creation of a monster which he cannot control. The novel was based on a nightmare that Shelley had and in that respect, it can be stated that all features of gothic literature can be considered the stuff of adult nightmares. Some may argue that the fairytales which Carter has based her stories around, are in fact pieces of gothic literature themselves as they contain all the elements of the gothic. After analysing both The Bloody Chamber and traditional ?childhood? fairytales, we can see what Carter believed ? that the fairytales had already held the stuff of adult nightmares. They contain adult themes and underlying content which already shows a male dominance in society. Although The Bloody Chamber contains many elements which are widely associated with adult nightmares, the original fairytales do too. For example, ?Little Red Riding Hood? and even other tales not explored such as ?The Pied Piper? portray the dark side or human nature, as does Carter?s collection as they allow for a grim depiction of realism; the only true difference is the language used which is due to the intended audiences. It would not be entirely correct to say that childhood fairytales have become the stuff of adult nightmares, as what Carter has done is made the content explicit: she uncovers it and reveals it for the reader. ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our AS and A Level Angela Carter section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related AS and A Level Angela Carter essays

  1. Peer reviewed

    "The Bloody Chamber" by Angela Carter - With close reference to one of the ...

    4 star(s)

    The blue beard symbolises the coldness of the two men, if someone is told 'he has a heart as cold as ice' the colour blue immediately springs to mind and Carter carries on this theme to portray this coldness. Another major difference from the original Bluebeard tale in the Carter

  2. Peer reviewed

    Explore the narrative techniques used by Angela Carter to subvert, reverse and challenge the ...

    3 star(s)

    Usually in tales and stories the female character is the victim, this is also the same in Angela Carter's stories but they don't remain the victim throughout the story. Also the females in the stories are considered more vulnerable. Also in each of the stories we see a change in the female's character.

  1. The story "The Company of Wolves" written by Angela Carter taunts the reader's imagination ...

    One of the ways in which some feminist writers are challenging the traditional or dominant readings of gender in literary texts is by re-telling or re-writing some of their culture's stories. Angela Carter was a writer who produced 're-visions' of many popular fairytales.

  2. A CRITIQUE OF 'THE SNOW CHILD', TAKEN FROM ANGELA CARTER'S 'THE BLOODY CHAMBER'.

    We are given other images of the Countess to ponder throughout the tale. Firstly, we are told how her 'black, shining boots' come complete with 'scarlet heels and spurs'. Personally, upon reading this extract, I was immediately plagued with images of a dominatrix - possibly, although we are never given

  1. Angela Carter - The Bloody Chamber

    (hello, Stephen, this is for you, even if I'm pretty sure you I am a (female)teacher of English Lit. at a university which shall remain nameless and I am in agreement with Stephen that she is over-rated. A dislike of one contemporary feminist author does not make a person a

  2. The Bloody Chamber analysis pg 17-19

    Typically passive "reborn in unfamiliar shapes. I hardly recognised myself from his descriptions of me...." - she is used goods. Her value has decreased. "in the red firelight" - she is no longer viewed as the pristine, virginal bride. But is now described more with the colour red, suggesting she has lost her allure.

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

    of the noun ?child? highlights the dominant male role within this story once again reinforcing patriarchy. It can be argued that the narrator is not accepted as a woman by the Marquis in a virginal or non-virginal state and therefore is in a liminal state because he treats her as

  2. To what extent are gender stereotypes reinforced or challenged in your chosen story from ...

    vampiric duties, and be the vicious image of a woman obsessed with freedom. Hollinger comments that this story is in fact ?an ironic parody of Stoker?s Dracula which emphases that, in a world defined by the ideology of human rationality, it is, in fact, the vampire - here standing in

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work