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

To what extent are gender stereotypes reinforced or challenged in your chosen story from The Bloody Chamber?

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

To what extent are gender stereotypes reinforced or challenged in your chosen story from ?The Bloody Chamber?? The ?Lady of the House of Love? just as a title, creates a very simple image in terms of gender stereotypes; the female role being the obedient, or arguably oppressed, housewife and the male role being the breadwinner and the figure of authority within a patriarchal society. The title thus initiates the notion of the ?angel of the house?; in the 1800?s the ?angel of the house? was the wife who played a passive role within the household. The timeframe in which ?The Lady of The House of Love? is set is ambiguous in the sense that the reader is given little information as to its timeframe. The time in which a story is set has a major influence on the gender roles and whether they?d support or defy the ?stereotype? of being male or female. The only evidence we have that suggests it is set in the early 1900?s as there is a mention of World War 1, and the soldier?s fate in ?the trenches of France?. However at a glance, the reader may assume that gender roles based from the 1800?s is what the title suggests. However, The Countess or the ?Lady of The House? can be shown not to play the classic passive female role, and is more empowered than the title first suggests. ...read more.

Middle

Carter describes The Countess to be ?a girl who is both death and maiden?, with fingernails ?pared to a fine point?. This violent illustration is not typical of a female fairytale character. And an example of her irony, she further described the Countess to have ?teeth as fine and white as spikes of spun sugar,? this oxymoron observes the violent appearance of The Countess as well as giving Carter the opportunity to use the more fairytale-like referral to sugar adding a duality to Countess? . Another more modern female ?label? is that of an empowered temptress which fits more within the temporal context at Carter?s time of writing during the feminist movement. The Countess, although a character imprisoned, is able to seduce men into her bedchamber, and fulfil this stereotype. The narrator states that she is an imprisoned woman, ?And now she is a woman, she must have men.? This again is Carter twisting the typical fairytale style and adding a sexual element, for the Countess is dead, and so no longer has a lust for sex, but a lust for blood as ?she knows only one type of consummation.? The theory is that, due to the Countess? devoid for sexual desire, she may have died before losing her virginity, thus she presents the rose ? symbolic of her own vagina ? to the soldier and laments ?And I leave you as souvenir the dark, fanged rose I plucked from between my thighs,? suggesting ...read more.

Conclusion

Plus the fact that he is a virgin further proves his femininity, for women are the gender who is honoured for their virginity. Gender is not the only ?order? which is challenged in ?The Lady of The House of Love?, but also the barrier between life and death. This adds a very gothic element to the story, and crossed the genre to more of a gothic fairytale. The story is also an allegory of reason over unreason; life over death. The Countess represents unreason, reason is that death is imminent ? but the Countess is the living dead. Her bedchamber is referred to as ?Juliet?s Tomb? suggesting that just as Juliet in ?Romeo & Juliet? was is a masquerade of death, the Countess is playing the masquerade of life. The Soldier on the other hand represents the side of reason, not only does he have his bicycle as a symbol of his rationality, but he shows no fear at the Countess? blatant statement ?You will be my prey.? In addition, near the end of the story where light enters the Countess? chamber it is a symbol of rationality invading the realm of irrationality and the Countess alters from an impossible being into a being of reason: a human. Angela Carter manipulates the gender roles within ?The Lady of The House of Love?, for she miraculously proves within both main protagonists that they can be equally androgynous, sharing both masculine and feminine traits, and overall challenging the stereotypes that society has set. ...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. The story "The Company of Wolves" written by Angela Carter taunts the reader's imagination ...

    In order to be able to live in a social order and in order to be tame & self-aware, archaic societies believed that one had to have spent some time in the wilderness. � - Christianity demonizes the wolf and the inner animal as Satanic; werewolves, like witches & Jews,

  2. Angela Carter - The Bloody Chamber

    snob or anti-feminist, and an irritation at the pretentious verbosity of Carter's prose doesn't mean he is illiterate. Did anyone else notice that the guy who criticised S's spelling wrote 'at lease', by the way? I merely ask. Hey stephen.

  1. Bloody Chamber - Commentary

    Perhaps it had fallen down the well. She remembered throwing it into the air yesterday morning, while she sat and hummed a tune at the edge of the black hole. She had peered in, hoping to see the splash of a tiny water snake she had seen once before, but

  2. Show how Angela Carter presents Saskia and Imogen in the novel

    my nieces." When Melchior announces this, Dora and Nora are distraught, and once again, without even doing anything, Saskia and Imogen have gained the upper hand - a mental victory. It also confirms that Saskia and Imogen have gained what Dora and Nora have always dreamed of - becoming recognised publicly as Melchior's children.

  1. How Far and in what ways, do you think that narrative variety is important ...

    The second person sounds authoritative and commanding. Look for examples of this on PG 111. This technique gives the narrator the aspect of experience, which was one of the original uses of fairy tales to pass on experience from one generation to the next. e) Fairy Stories all work on different levels, the superficial, and then deeper psychological levels.

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

    Carter wants to reinforce her views on patriarchy suggesting that men see themselves as the dominant figure. Carter also explores an ominous atmosphere through her use of intertextuality. ?All the better to see you? reminds readers of the well known fairytale ?Little Red Riding Hood.? Carter changes the tone within

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