The Bloody Chamber

Victims of Circumstance or Victims of Their Own Nature? 12th Grade

Carter’s characters in The Lady of the House of Love (LHL), Wolf-Alice and The Werewolf differentiate between being victims of their own nature and victims of circumstance. These characters that are classified as ‘victims’ are often portrayed as being unable to help themselves as they cannot escape from their fate or situation, such as the Countess in The LHL; however one may argue that certain characters, the child in The Werewolf for instance, are initially victims who subvert their role and do save themselves by escaping from this role. The characters in these stories, particularly the women, are often victimised due to the circumstance of their sexuality and societies expectations of them, nevertheless the Countess is a victim of her own nature – her nature as a vampire which entraps her.

Those characters who are victims of their own nature, in other words trapped in their roles due to their inherent make up. The Countess is an example of such a character, as are the Duke from Wolf-Alice and the grandmother from The Werewolf. All three of the characters are trapped in their states – werewolf and vampire – which are sometimes identified as specifically genetic, the Countess’s vampirism being descended from her father, who is...

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