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The Bloody Chamber analysis pg 17-19

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Introduction

The Bloody Chamber -pg. 17-19 "she had robed herself involuntarily in a blush that reddened her breasts, her shoulders, her arms, her whole body?" - Gothic colour of red: love, passion, blood. Involuntarily suggests she had no power in the decision. Perhaps foreshadows her head being "reddened" by the key. "when he first undressed me" - she does not undress herself. She is not in control "the foolish Virgins" - the bride entered the marriage with little knowledge of the man she was really marrying. "your thin white face.....your thin white face, with its promise of debauchery" - white: innocence, purity. "promise of debauchery" is the achievement the marquis sees his bride as. He wishes to coax her away from her virginity. "a shower of sparks" - possibly represents orgasm (mini-death). ...read more.

Middle

They are also representative of the secrets that character wishes to conceal, obviously the bloody chamber itself. By entrusting his bride with these keys, the Marquis empowers her to an extent. Another interpretation of the keys is that they are a phallic symbol, and that the bride is flirting with sexual knowledge and promiscuity by accepting the key. This idea of temptation is a biblical allusion to eve and the tree of knowledge. The bride is also left scarred by the Marquis, so its use as a phallic symbol is further emphasised. "hollow, knocking sound that served him for a chuckle" - his laugh is symmetrical to his general demeanour. Never showing signs of love to his bride. "his chafing had me bold" - she now feels empowered by her sexual experiences and more of an equal to her husband. ...read more.

Conclusion

"the perfume of lilies weighed on my senses" - death is imminent "he pressed me to his vicuna breast" - animalistic qualities. "I felt a vague desolation within me, now my female wound had healed, there had awoken a certain queasy craving " - now she has indulged herself in sex, she craves for it again. This temptation is what leads to her scarring. Her "dark newborn curiosity" highlights the link between sin and sex. She begins to question her husband's motives for leaving her - "might he have left me, not for Wall Street but for an importunate mistress..." Like in 'The Snow Child', she fears her husband seeks sex elsewhere. Carter is possibly commenting on society's obsession with sex and wealth rather than love. ...read more.

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