Essay on The Sexual Content in Angela Carter´S the Bloody Chamber

1681 Words Dec 27th, 2011 7 Pages
The Sexual Content in Angela Carter´s “The Bloody Chamber”

The Bloody Chamber and Other Stories, is a selection of fairytales which have been re-written by Angela Carter to place them in the modern day. Carter has taken seven fairytales whose “latent content” she says were “violently sexual”, (qtd by Robin Sheets, “Pornography Fairy Tales and Feminism” 642). The stories include a variation of classics fairytales such as “Bluebeard”, “Beauty and the Beast” and “Little Red Riding Hood” with sometimes more than one version of the same original tale, for example “Wolf-Alice” and “The Company of Wolves”. In re-writing these fairy tales Carter has given the new versions a specifically sexual content and focuses on the female protagonist,
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by Sheets 637). Although Linda Lovelace claims sexual freedom and wants to be equal in bed, Carter makes sure to point out that the sexual acts that Lovelace boasts about being able to do with her mouth and her vagina she has learned from a man, Chuck, (Carter, Shaking a Leg 54). In turn when one compares this oppression to “The Bloody Chamber” one can see that indeed there are some obvious examples of masochism, one of which being when the narrator describes having sex as being “impaled”, (Angela Carter, Burning Your Boats, 121) by her husband. Indeed the whole story up until the point where she goes to the forbidden room is one of subjugation. When one takes into consideration the remarks that Carter makes in her article of Lovelace about society, it can be argued that the initial argument regarding the intentions of the sexual content in Carter´s works also stem from the boundaries which society sets. Where some only see the oppression of the protagonist, others look beyond this to see an alternative to the protagonist’s actions. As Merja Makinen points out in “Angela Carter´s The Bloody Chamber and the Decolonisation of the Feminine Sexuality”, there is an alternative argument to that of the narrator of “The Bloody Chamber”. Here, Makinen argues that to an extent the narrator does in fact consent to the “sado-masochistic

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