It motifs and stories. The bloody Chamber provides reader

            It
seems that nowadays the environment of art has a great deal of difficulty with
astounding its audience. Writers as well as filmmakers struggle to rewrite or
reuse all of the themes and motifs that are commonly known. The same scenario
occurs every time any director, or producer, or writer announces that this one,
particular work of art is their life’s work. They state that no one ever seen
or read something so classic yet so modern. That they are able to gain
attention of the adolescents whose brains are not capable of comprehending
anything that was created in the past century, not to mention older works. Such
opinions as well as a belief that everything transformed into modern times will
be more acceptable for today’s audience could not be more wrong. The public
have enough of classics put into science-fiction form, fantasy world or their
neighbourhood. They do not crave a simple change of the form, but something
ground-breaking with a message and meaning which will endure through the years.
Something that causes controversy is also well received, at least by some
people.

            There
is no doubt that, nowadays, writers or filmmakers should not be complaining
about the lack of disputable topics. However, it might be that it is the public
who does not put enough effort to discover works which are not only connected
with important issues, but also will arouse strong emotions as well as
reactions from a receiver. One of the most splendid authors whose works do not
cease to amaze, confuse or even overwhelm is Angela Carter. The English
novelist, most famous for her collection of short stories entitled The Bloody Chamber, represents ground-breaking
approach to the concept of feminism by using commonly known motifs and stories.
The bloody Chamber provides reader
with entirely reconstructed traditional fairy tales which illustrate dynamic,
compelling and complex vision of a feminism.

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            The
most significant aspect of this particular short story collection is that Carter
did not confine herself to simply pushing the action of the stories in time.
All of the protagonists which can be found in her works will not wear sneakers,
leather jackets nor take part in activities that are a component of present
days. Rather than transforming the setting into the more modern one, Carter
changes the shape of each tale. Those are no longer magical or delightful fairy
tales which are read by parents to their children before their bedtime. Her
stories, maintained in a daunting atmosphere with noticeable gothic elements as
well as eroticism, are dedicated to more mature audience. And what makes them
exceptional is Carter’s approach to the traditional fairy tales makes readers
cognizant of the adverse concept of gender as well as sexuality shaped by
western culture. Also, it is after reading The
Bloody Chamber collection that reader is able to acknowledge rather poor
development of the main character in each of the original stories.

            The
emphasis put on the leading character is clearly to be seen in the story
entitled “The Lady of the House of Love” which is an equivalent of the
“Sleeping Beauty”. In the well-known fairy tale the protagonist does not play
significant role. In other words, the sleeping princess does not have any
influence on occurring events. She is passive throughout the whole story. Her
life depends on a curse and the prince who is supposed to save her. Angela
Carter, on the other hand, not only focuses the attention on the female
character, but, what is more important, presents reversed gender roles. This
time it is the vampire heroine who has the power and uses it against men that are
treated like objects: for food as well as her desires. The Countess leads her
victims to the bedroom, which becomes “bloody chamber”, and kills them. What is
interesting, is that in Carter’s story sexuality is associated with violence. That
combination did not occur in the traditional fairy tales and violence as such
is reduced or even imperceptible. However, the English writer goes even
further.

            “The
Werewolf” as well as “The Company of Wolves” are based on “Little Red Riding
Hood”. The reason why those two interpretations are probably the most
controversial as well as outrageous is the age of the protagonist. Whereas the
Countess from “The Lady of the House of Love” is described as young, beautiful
woman, in this case Carter deals with a heroine who is a little girl. The
protagonist of the original story, who is innocent and naive, is asked to visit
her sick grandmother. However, the girl is not concerned by her mother’s
warnings and reveals the destination of her trip. Moreover, Little Red Riding
Hood is so naïve that she does not recognize the wolf in her grandmother’s
clothes which results in being eaten by the beast. Later on, both female
characters are saved by the hunter who is a man. The biggest difference between
the original story and Carter’s interpretations is the behaviour of the
protagonists and activities that they are engaged in. Both character represent
demeanour that commonly is not associated with little girls. In “The Werewolf” is
the most similar to the fairy tale. The girl, also seems to be innocent as her
mother warns her not to leave the path. However, before she gets underway, she
is given a knife. What makes it more controversial, is that the girl knows how
to use it when the beast approaches her.

            As
stated above, Carter’s characters are more than naive female characters. When
the girl arrives at her grandmothers’ house, she recognizes the similar wart on
her hand. The main character discovers that her grandmother is the beast, which
is another major change made by Carter, and becomes even more ruthless as, with
the help of neighbours, she kills her relative and decides to live in
grandmother’s house.

            On
the other hand, the character from “The Company of Wolves” is not as
experienced in fighting with the beasts as the one from “The Werewolf” because
she has led sheltered. However, her ferocity as well as confidence indicate
that she is cognizant of the power of her innocence. As the heroine is on a threshold
of between a child and a woman, she begun to menstruate, she believes that she
is protected by “invisible pentacle of her own
virginity,” and fearless enters the forest. The role of the beast is played by
the lustful huntsman. The heroine, confident in her own sexuality, is not
afraid of him. While he walks with her, the protagonist let him carry her
basket, even though her knife can be found inside. What is more, the girl challenges
the beast, and he bets that he will reach the house of her grandmother first.
The price is a kiss from her. The huntsman takes the child’s basket with him
and, at the same time, robs her from any power as she is left without a weapon.
In this short story Carter, once again, associates violence with sexuality.
Just before the child’s grandmother dies, the huntsman strips and changes into
a beast with “huge genitals.”