Page
  1. 1
    1
  2. 2
    2
  3. 3
    3
  4. 4
    4
  5. 5
    5
  6. 6
    6
  7. 7
    7

A Stylistic analysis of the use of point of view in The Bloody Chamber

Extracts from this essay...

Introduction

An analysis of the use of point of view in Angela Carter's 'The Bloody Chamber' I would like to begin my essay with a short introduction testifying to the method of analysis by which I will be studying this text and within these fields how analysing point of view can compliment and help to enhance our understanding and appreciation of a text's sophistication or cleverness, and then go on to place Angela Carter's work within this context. It is interesting to note that although in terms of the place of women in society there has been a great deal of improvement towards equality since the book's first publication in 1979, Carter's sometimes gothic and gruesome style still proves just as shocking to a contemporary reader, male or female. I would argue that this is predominantly through her use of the poignant insight of a scrambled and sometimes abstract first person narrative that 'deals directly with the imagery of the unconscious,1' and the previously fairly unearthed depths of the female mind, and its passions and desires through an analysis of the narrative. Carter's work has been described to be fairly pornographic and the reason this holds particular significance is because of Carter's frequent choice of using a female protagonist as narrator. As Roger Fowler has noted, a novel 'gives an interpretation of the world it represents;' in the case of this particular work Carter's possible world is undoubtedly a place of fantasy far removed from reality, but it is a possible world that is largely familiar to a reader by virtue of its foundations being laid in the realms of common fairytale. The world of Carter's stories is gruesome, violent and dominated by the male. It could be argued that by virtue of Carter making sure that the female protagonist of the story is constantly enforced as decisively feminine and admittedly passive, Carter is involving a degree of social commentary.

Middle

(Carter:2006:1)we can identify a first person narrator who is familiar with the content of the story and also by the capitalization of the first three words identify the reflective/recollecting nature of the privileged narrative and the proceeding boulamaic language, the 'delicious ecstasy' the narrator describes herself at feeling at the time the story is set gives a positive shading in stark contrast to the negative modality expressed later in the story. The narrator describes her excitement at the anticipation of going to 'that magical place, the fairy castle',(Carter:2006:2) and she eagerly described this as her 'destiny.' In terms of point of view on the psychological plane, we can also see a contrast in the narrator's perceptions of herself at the time that the story took place. While in the opening paragraphs she refers to herself, presumably in an assumption of grandeur, as 'the bride,' Carter:2006:2) she later refers to the transition to realization of the truth at a later time in the story as a 'spoiled child,'(Carter:2006:26) marking a change in the character by the recognition of her naivety and childish beliefs. The anticipation, excitement and wonder is replaced by uncertainty about subject matter, speculative commentary and qualification of verbs in relation to the characters thoughts and decisions. For example, the narrator tells how at the time of the story, 'Perhaps I half imagined' which is then qualified/justified by the insertion of 'then,' arguably marking a passage from innocence to experience and almost implying the narrator feels the need to highlight this, 'that I might find his real self in his den.' (Carter:2006:24-25) This sentence clearly displays a lack of certainty and an element of cognitive speculation. The significance of identifying both at different stages in the story is more of importance to analysis of point of view of the psychological plane. On a lightly more literary level the change from positive to negative shading is symbolic of the narrator telling of her own passage from innocence to experience but on a purely linguistic

Conclusion

At this early stage in the story the repeated use of such pronouns indicates on a linguistic level that the clearly female narrative is acted upon by these masculine pronouns; although an active female narrator, this linguistic choice implies passivity on the part of the childlike self the narrator refers to which is then claimed by the narrator to be a previous self by an admission of the narrative being a different temporal plane; for example the narrative gives explanations of the psychological state of the previous self '...I know it must seem [implies must seem to you the reader in the present reading of the past] a curious analogy, a man with a flower, but sometimes he seemed to me like a lily.'(Carter:2006:3) The passivity of the female protagonist, even up until what the character describes to be her accepted, arguably highlights a contrast between thematic and linguistic implications by the fact that the narrator tells how her mother is the one to come and save her life at the end of the story by defeating the illusive 'him.' In conclusion Carter not only thematically challenges gendered assumptions by her version of a traditional fairytale but explores the effects of narrative voice skipping to different points in time, sometimes without direct grammatical signposting, highlighting some of the difficulties of narratology and producing a sophisticated and thoroughly individual narrative practice of her own. As fore mentioned, although some of the narrative is seemingly grammatically incorrect, the shift in focus, or the shift in what we might call the lens of the first person narrative; the evaluative insertions to passages designated to the characters psychological point of view that clearly identify and clarify the different versions of self and the thematic significance of the marked changes from positive to negative shading accompanied by the relishing of violence and sexual experience from the point of view of the female narrator intertwined with an ideological passivity are what gives the text its richness and what marks it as demonstrating 'Angela Carter's narrative gift at its most seductive and shocking.

The above preview is unformatted text

Found what you're looking for?

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

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Over 180,000 student essays
  • Every subject and level covered
  • Thousands of essays marked by teachers

Related University Degree Miscellaneous

  1. Narrative Essay

    I could have yelled something nasty to Mr. BWM after he inflicted his damage, but that would've only escalated the situation into something worse. Al wouldn't have gotten his repairs compensated for if the officer didn't feel obligated to note what Mr. BMW did as unnecessary on the incident report form; had I provoked him, he wouldn't have been required to pay.

  2. Extraversion - Intraversion & Time Perception

    count the number of marks they had made in total and make a note of this total at the bottom of the questionnaire. Each group was appointed a student timer equipped with a stopwatch; following on from this, all the participants were requested to remove their watches and turn off

  1. To identify consumer perception of Fairtrade products and to investigate how the growth of ...

    therefore moving along the curve. However a change in other factors such as income and marketing activities may cause a shift in the demand curve rather than movement along, (D2) The importance of effective marketing strategy could thus cause a shift in demand for fair-trade products.

  2. Creative Writing Short Story - Murder Court Case

    Santino had become a sweeper in prison. FelaxÖ had decided to change his profession to a person who collects letters and gives them to prisoners. During the second week of his job he made a letter of his own which read as: Dear Santino, I am sorry about what happened to you and express sorrow from all your friends.

  1. Compare, contrast, and where possible synthesise, two major psychological approaches to understanding the core ...

    prepotent stimuli and have sufficient functioning in planning, working memory and shifting attention flexibly in order to achieve strategic goal-directed behaviour (Baddeley, 1991; Goldman-Rakic, 1987; Pennington, 1994; Shallice, 1988). Impairments on executive function tasks have been consistently found across many studies amongst autistic individuals of differing ages and functioning levels, using a diverse range of measures (Pennington & Ozonoff, 1996).

  2. Critical Analysis of Two research papers

    Interviews are deemed as informal; a view endorsed by Marshall and Rossman (1999) who believe interviews are 'much more like a conversation rather than a formal event'. Due to cost constraints, the interviews were carried out via telephone as opposed to face to face.

  1. SWOT & PEST ANALYSIS

    to combat this or attempting to tackle it within their existing business infrastructure. This is indicative of how British Airways responded in the European airline market and how Virgin Atlantic acted in the Australasian market, albeit for very different reasons.

  2. 'The Nurse, Capulet and Friar Lawrence all love Juliet, yet all contribute towards her ...

    Capulet experiences a drastic change in attitude, on hearing Juliet's refusal to marry Paris. He flies into a towering rage, talking of Juliet in the third person to emphasise his anger, "How, will she none? Doth she not give us thanks?

  • Over 180,000 essays
    written by students
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to write
    your own great essays

Marked by a teacher

This essay has been marked by one of our great teachers. You can read the full teachers notes when you download the essay.

Peer reviewed

This essay has been reviewed by one of our specialist student essay reviewing squad. Read the full review on the essay page.

Peer reviewed

This essay has been reviewed by one of our specialist student essay reviewing squad. Read the full review under the essay preview on this page.