Courtship Of Mr Lyon and Wolf Alice Comparison Essay

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Extract: The Courtship of Mr Lyon from ‘the voice that seemed to issue from a care full of echoes’ to ‘he went on all fours’.

Using this extract as your starting point and this reference to one other story of your choice, you should:

-Explore Carter’s manipulation of language to develop the voice of the lion and the reaction of the girl to it.

-Examine how Carter exploits the voices of her characters in both stories to comment on attitudes towards characters that are different.

The Courtship of Mr Lyon loosely refers to the main storyline presented with the fairytale; The Beauty and The Beast. It is heavily feminine and throughout strives for the equality between men and women, despite their potential ‘otherness’s’. Combined with Wolf Alice, loosely based on Lewis Carroll’s: Alice through the Looking Glass, Carter uses a variety of linguistics and literary techniques in order to communicate a strong sense of voice to the reader. Developing this, then enables Carter to manipulate language to suggest the reactions and relationships between characters within both stories.

Throughout the extract, Carter uses a third person omniscient narrative in order to create a sense of separation from events, potentially mimicking the attitudes of society. In general those who tend to ‘stick out’ are ignored, abandoned and shunned. The use of this narrative choice enables reader’s to be faced with the reality of their actions and encourage them to change their views. Beauty exists within days of ‘pastel-coloured idleness’, a sense of boredom reinforced by the use of soft sounding constanants and open vowels. The choice of these lexis help to suggest details regarding Beauty’s persona, a passive character, innocent and submissive, unable to make her own decisions, reflecting historical context, many women were considered to occupy this role within Carter’s writing time. With, ‘a kind of halo’ the Beast appears almost saintly, providing a distraction from Beauty’s monotonous existence. This also suggests the Beast is the authoritative figure within the relationship, Beauty possesses somewhat of awe towards him. However, the distinct lexical choice ‘kind’ suggests the Beast is not entirely what he seems, his sense of ‘otherness’ never able to leave him totally.

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The Beast appears to hold the position of authority between himself and Beauty; ‘he was irradiated’ foregrounding the anaphoric references ‘he’, highlighting the importance the Beast possesses. A strong sense of the voice of the lion is created through the Beast ‘forc(ing) himself to master his shyness’ revealing feelings the Beast possesses, through a internal third person narration. However, unlike Beauty, who is unable to defeat the ‘small talk (that) turned to dust in her mouth’, the Beast overcomes his sense of fear, yet again suggesting he is stronger than Beauty, a strong sense of character and voice created ...

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