The Bloody Chamber
The concept of transformation is a key element of Carter's text and of Gothic writing in general. Explore how Carter presents this concept in two or more of her stories 12th Grade
Throughout The Bloody Chamber, Carter uses traditional fairytales as a template for discussion on gender and sexual politics. Therefore, although her short stories contain conventional forms of transformation - men turn into wolves in The Company of Wolves, at the end of The Courtship of Mr Lyon Mr Lyon turns back into a man, and in the conclusion of The Tiger’s Bride the protagonist changes into a beast as well - they also include a deeper, metaphorical notion of change. At the time of writing, the Second Wave Feminism movement had reached its peak; this shift in attitudes may have influenced Carter’s frequent use of symbolic imagery to denote a character’s emotional and psychological transformation.
Carter advocates an accommodation between the tiger and lamb binary opposites of human nature as a means of achieving wholeness. The titles of both The Courtship of Mr Lyon (TCoML) and The Tiger’s Bride (TTB) have a clear male emphasis; the fact that the protagonist is described as ‘The Tiger’s Bride’ suggests his ownership of her, an obviously unequal power dynamic. However, by the end of the stories (both of which involve a physical metamorphosis) the relationship between the male and female figures has also changed, conveying...
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